Football

Champions League 2018, Round of 16, First Leg – Chelsea vs Barcelona

One Final in 6 Years!! Having been in a real rut a week ago, the footballing gods kindly served up home fixtures against West Brom (whose only hope of picking up three points right now appears to be via motoring offences) and a hopeless Hull side. Yet if Chelsea are to prevail against far stiffer opposition, they will need Alvaro Morata to recover some of his early-season form, against a familiar foe from his Real days. We all know about how vital this match is to Antonio Conte, but Barca have only reached one final in the past six years (since their schooling of Manchester United at Wembley) – an astonishing statistic given all the stars at their disposal. This... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

2018 FA Cup 5th Round

4 to Watch Sheffield Wednesday vs Swansea City One of the less predictable grudge matches of the season, sees the perhaps prematurely sacked Carlos Carvalhal (surprise A) take his rejuvenated Swansea side (surprise B) to Hillsborough. And whilst the Swans aren’t quite safe yet, one senses that the optimism of their new manager, and the boost that big FA Cup wins seem to have given his run, mean that he is unlikely to field a weakened side at this stage. Ladbrokes will give you 7/5 on the away side scoring at least two, and that would be our bet of the weekend. Brighton & Hove Albion vs Coventry City Both sides have business to contend with in the bread and... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, February 16th, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Chelsea vs West Bromwich Albion

Well Done Everyone! Two clubs who are almost certainly slightly regretful of their behaviours in recent weeks. Chelsea’s absurd demand to win the league every season, has led them to cut Antonio Conte loose almost as soon as it became clear that this year’s state championship would be going to Qatar, not the CIS. With Conte showing no interest in quitting and losing out on a mighty pay-off, and even Abramovich scared to make the move that would involve sacking another manager, the club are drifting, and are now massively unlikely to make the top four, or beat Barcelona next week. And as for those Boing Boing Baggies, they failed to heed one of the most elementary lessons in football... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Monday, February 12th, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal

Divers against Strivers A true treat for nostalgists this one, as footage galore of “Is Gascoigne going to have a crack – he is you know,” “schoolboy’s own stuff,” and “Lineker using him by not using him,” will drip from our televisions in the run-up to the first North London skirmish at Wembley, since the donkey won the derby back in 1993. Big matches between these two were fairly scarce at that time. With English clubs banned from Europe, a scuffle for 4th was not what it is now, and the two never competed against each other for the title in that era. Yet these days we are accustomed to these matches being a true weathervane for how the season... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, February 9th, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur

Stop Running Around! Having received the spanking of their season thus far at Wembley back in October, Liverpool will be keenly seeking revenge in this fixture, which arguably brings together the two most intense sides in the division. And it is this intensity that has been the undoing of both in recent years. Spurs tend to start slowly under Pochettino, as it takes some time to build up from pre-season the requisite fitness to play his way. This season, it was attributed to ‘Wembley syndrome’, but the truth is that it has happened each year under their otherwise superb manager. They also tend to finish the season weakly – for the pressure matches in March and April, there does tend... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 4th, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United

Sanchez Returns Early to North London It has been so long since “its only Spurs” beat Manchester United three times at home, that Wembley had just witnessed its finest hour- 1966 and all that. And it would be a massive boost to the home side’s top four prospects if they could ape that feat tomorrow evening. Having taken just three points in the first half-season of matches against other members of the ‘big six’ (from a thumping at home to Liverpool), one may not fancy their chances, as Spurs’ Achilles heel under Pochettino has been particularly predominant this season. They are unbeaten in eight however, and the lethargy displayed on Saturday at Newport was surely due more to the competition,... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Carabao Cup Semi Final – Bristol City vs Manchester City

No Romance in the Carabao Having pretty much sacked off the league since this fixture loomed large on the horizon, it was a relief for Bristol City to pick up a much-needed point on Friday night at home to high-flying Derby. That ended a run of five defeats in a row, and was possibly decent practise for Tuesday’s tussle, with them spending much of the game defending. Manchester City are admittedly, unlikely to field Cameron Jerome however. Both Frank Fielding and Nathan Baker were withdrawn at half-time with injury scares, and the latter in particular will need to recover if the Robins have any chance of keeping the clean sheet that one suspects they will need to get to Wembley.... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Sunday Football – 14 January 2018

4 to Watch Bournemouth vs Arsenal After a week of tricky cup action, its back to the bread and butter for the Gunners, and what could be more bread and butter than a nice passing side who will go at Arsenal, leaving rampant spaces at the back to be exploited. We think this could end similarly to Wenger’s trip to Goodison earlier in the season, and 3-1 Arsenal with Sanchez to score a farewell goal at the end pays out at 30/1 with Ladbrokes. Real Sociedad vs Barcelona Following Thursday night’s Alba-Messi show, things should be tougher for Barca at a ground where they haven’t won in their last seven visits. Eusebio Sacristan will be keen to get one over... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 14th, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

Liverpool vs Manchester City

Van Dijk in – Dyke Out The big game of the weekend, as the team secure in 4th hosts the team who have already won the title. Talk of a City blip has focused on them drawing a match at a rejuvenated Crystal Palace in the midst of a packed Christmas festival, as well as only narrowly winning the first leg of their League Cup semi-final. It is hardly Sunderland at home 2017 in its catastrophic nature. Teams reflect their managers’ personalities, and nowhere is this truer than at Anfield. The way they play mirrors their manager – when they are up, they are truly buoyant. But when they are down, they are truly dismal. They may have added a... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)

FA Cup 2018 – 3rd Round

Friday Night Football Liverpool vs Everton: A game that Liverpool really don’t need (particularly considering their problems at this time of year twelve months ago,) in a competition that Big Sam has no track record of taking seriously. Yet it is a derby, its live on the telly on a Friday night, so at the very least, both Klopp and Allardyce are going to have to pretend they are interested. Previous meetings in this competition have been enough to see off Kenny Dalglish and whoever was in charge of cutting to adverts on ITV, but those were back in the days when this tournament meant something. 2-1 Liverpool is 15/2 with Ladbrokes, and that should be enough to keep both... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Football, Oggsblog)
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