WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW – MCB’s Premier League Guide

We managed to get five out of 10 best bests over the line last week with our Premier League predictions – but we did nail a juicy 10/1 correct score winner.

Complete with the odds from your club’s betting service, we take a glance at all the games in England’s top flight for this weekend.

Remember, all of the links below are directed to a generic MyClubBetting site. Once you login, you will be redirected to the club betting site that you are registered to.

As always, be sure to share your opinions with us over on the @MyClubBetting twitter page…

If you are not affiliated to a club and wish to take advantage of our great offers or simply have a bet, you can sign up to our Bet4Causes site, where 20% of the bookmaker’s net revenue goes to our chosen charities.

Wenger 1.jpg

ARSENAL v HULL CITY

Saturday, 12.30pm

Back-to-back Premier League defeats to Watford and leaders Chelsea have put Arsenal (2/7) 12 points behind the Blues, and despite Liverpool’s awful run of form, they are only a point behind the Gunners in the race for fourth place.

There used to be a time when teams actually wanted to win the title, rather than seeing fourth or fifth place as a triumph and we are reminded that fourth place is simply third of the losers. With Arsene Wenger out of contract in the summer, there could be a change at the top, but the probability (in our estimation at least) is that he has already told the board that he will walk away as their most successful manager in the club’s history.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has been touted as the next man in, but with all the speculation, you can see things starting to unravel. This season is beginning to look like another opportunity missed.
Hull (10/1) have beaten Bournemouth, Manchester United and Liverpool in recent weeks, but remain in the bottom three, having won just once on the road this term. They have only ever beaten Arsenal once and have failed to score at the Emirates in four of their last six visits. This should be a routine win for the Gunners, but with plenty going on behind the scenes, this may spill over onto the pitch, because we know how fragile the psyche of a pampered modern-day pro can be, don’t we?

VERDICT: ARSENAL 3 HULL CITY 0 @ 13/2

BEST BET: HT/FT = ARSENAL/ARSENAL @ 4/5

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MANCHESTER UNITED v WATFORD

Saturday, 3pm

Whilst they have only lost once at Old Trafford in the League, Manchester United (1/4) are off the pace because they have drawn half of their 12 games on their own patch. Even the likes of Burnley and West Brom have picked up more than United’s 21 home points. Watford (11/1) have been toddling along quite nicely and are in the top half of the table, with probably three wins from their last 14 games assuring them of their place in the top flight for next season. They have won three games on the road but have lost their last five at Old Trafford, and four of those defeats were by margins of two goals or more. They are, however, seeking to do the double on Jose Mourinho’s men, having turned them over 3-1 at Vicarage Road in September. Three wins in the last 20 meetings says the odds are against them historically, but their price is ridiculous given that they won at Arsenal two weeks ago and followed up with a home win against Burnley. We see this being a bit of a struggle for United but Mourinho’s side should come through, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic perhaps again providing hope to old men everywhere.

VERDICT: MANCHESTER UNITED 2 WATFORD 0 @ 9/2

BEST BET: WATFORD +3 GOALS @ 4/9

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MIDDLESBROUGH v EVERTON

Saturday, 3pm

Middlesbrough (11/4) are just a point above the relegation zone in a compact bottom half where six teams are separated by just two points. They have the better goal difference than the teams below them but have managed to win the fewest games in the Premier League (4). However, nine draws from 24 games keeps them above the waterline for now.

It is obvious what their biggest issue is – scoring goals. They have netted just 19 times. On the flip side, only Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United have conceded fewer than Boro’s 27 this season, so keeping it tight and nicking the odd goal may be enough to see them remain in the top tier next term.

Everton (11/10) are only six points behind Merseyside rivals Liverpool, who sit fifth, so the prospect of European football is not fanciful and their away form is solid enough, with four wins and three draws from 12. The Toffeemen have won the last four encounters and seek an unprecedented fifth successive win over Boro, who have won just two of the last 15 meetings. We have a sneaky feeling about this one. While they have not posted a victory in the top flight since the middle of December, they are difficult to break down and Everton struggled to win at Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago. We’ll take Aitor Karanka’s crew to get a little respite.

VERDICT: MIDDLESBROUGH 2 EVERTON 1 @ 12/1

BEST BET: MIDDLESBROUGH OR DRAW @ 7/10

Hughes Mark.jpg

STOKE CITY v CRYSTAL PALACE

Saturday, 3pm

Stoke (11/10) are severely tempting at these odds, but it looks like a dog, smells like a dog and would not look out of place if cooked in white sauce at an Asian restaurant. So much as it looks a tempting treat, we tend to ignore such howlers when they bark ‘back me’.

Stoke really should be odds on, not odds against, for their clash with a woeful Crystal Palace (11/4) side who have regressed under Sam Allardyce. The results speak for themselves. Defeats to Arsenal (A), Swansea (H), West Ham (A), Everton (H) and Sunderland (H) has only been brightened by a 2-0 win at Bournemouth since the turn of the year. They have failed to score in four of their last five League outings and were dumped out of the FA Cup, 3-0 at home by Manchester City.

The odds are skewed, perhaps for this reason only: history. Palace have won six of the last seven meetings and drew the other. Stoke have won just one of the last 11 meetings with the Eagles and were thrashed 4-1 at Selhurst Park in September, which seems like a lifetime ago. Palace capitulated at home to Barcelona last week… Wait. We got that wrong. It was Sunderland who led 4-0 at half-time at Selhurst Park, the Black Cats not the Catalan giants, to keep Palace in the bottom three. Stoke had put a nice little run together until beaten by James Morrison’s goal at The Hawthorns last week, securing points against Everton and Manchester United, winning at Sunderland and beating Watford. Their home form has not been bad of late, although Mark Hughes would expect a better return than four wins from 12. They have lost just three times on their own patch, however. Stoke look tremendous value to us. Too good, in fact. Allardyce will expect a reaction and may get it.

VERDICT: STOKE CITY 1 CRYSTAL PALACE 2 @ 12/1

BEST BET: CRYSTAL PALACE OR DRAW @ 8/11

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SUNDERLAND v SOUTHAMPTON

Saturday, 3pm

Sunderland (14/5) could not believe their luck to go in 4-0 up at the break at Selhurst Park last weekend, with on-loan Manchester United striker Adnan Januzaj and Jermain Defoe looking like they had played together forever. Saturday’s win was their first in seven, however, and they remain at the bottom of the table, two points adrift of safety. Sunderland did well to keep Defoe at the club in the transfer window (a nonsense regulation) and his 14 goals (Sunderland have only scored 24) means he alone may be able to keep them up. We still maintain they will fall, but it won’t be the fault of manager David Moyes, either.

Southampton (Evens) stunned us last week losing at home to West Ham, who have a terrible record on the South Coast, despite going a goal up after just 12 minutes. The Saints have reached the League Cup final and that is a distraction. Since beating Liverpool over two legs, they have lost to Arsenal (0-5), Swansea (2-1) and West Ham (1-3). They are seven points off the drop zone but could be just five points in front of Sunderland should they lose this. We don’t expect them to. Six draws in the last 14 meetings says the value play is taking the 12/5 for a stalemate, as Saints do not win here very often (victorious twice in the last 11 trips).

VERDICT: SUNDERLAND 0 SOUTHAMPTON 0 @ 8/1

BEST BET: DRAW AT HT @ 21/10

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WEST HAM UNITED v WEST BROMWICH ALBION

Saturday, 3pm

With a form guide of: WDDWDDD in their last seven meetings at Upton Park, the sensible option would be to take on the Baggies in one shape or form. Except this isn’t Upton Park any longer. This is the London Stadium, which is not a football stadium in our opinion.

No surprise that West Ham (6/5) have struggled to adapt to the cavernous arena, a stark contrast to the tight confines of their former home, which always produced a great atmosphere. Just as Sam Allardy… wait. Perhaps not. They have netted just 1 times at home at a ratio of a goal a game and have leaked 20 – not counting the five than Manchester City put past them in the FA Cup. Had it not been for City’s home drubbings, they would be one of the form teams right now, having won by at least two clear goals against Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Southampton. Andy Carroll has been a regular on the scoresheet and the Hammers have climbed to relative safety in ninth, 11 points clear of the drop zone.

Albion (12/5) are five points and a place above the Hammers following their 1-0 win over Stoke and they could be boosted by the return of defender Jonny Evans, who has been slow to recover from a calf injury. James Morrison’s winner against Stoke was his 28th in the Premier League for the Baggies and he will cause an oft-shaky West Ham defence a few problems.

West Brom have won three of their 12 road games but have drawn five others, so we would side with them to take at least a point at (23/10). It would be no surprise should they steal all three, however. The 56,980-odd fans will still turn out in force each week; one thing about West Ham – they enjoy fantastic and loyal support.

VERDICT: WEST HAM 2 WEST BROM 3 @ 40/1

BEST BET: WEST BROM OR DRAW @ 8/13

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LIVERPOOL v TOTTENHAM

Saturday, 5.30pm

Neither team are our favourites. We’d like both to lose each week if we could. A draw would be our happiest outcome, but we will still be miserable that these two teams would each pick up a point. Liverpool (5/4) stopped the rot with a home draw against champions-elect Chelsea and then promptly fell 2-0 at Hull last week. Yet they are still only a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal, so the Champions League is still a possibility, even if the title is slipping out of sight fast.
Tottenham (12/5) are still very much in with a shout of winning the Premier League. That is a horrible sentence to write and I will have to now take a few days off sick to get over it.

There was a time when you could trust Spurs not to win at Anfield. In fact they have won three of their last 30 competitive games there since 1986, the last coming in November 2011.

There is every chance that they could take the points, given Liverpool’s recent form which has seen them win once in the last 10 competitive fixtures – a 1-0 FA Cup replay at Plymouth. Of Division Four (as we know it). They have not won at home in their last five, since beating Manchester City 1-0 on New Year’s Eve. And while we are enjoying ourselves, they should jolly well let Daniel Sturridge join West Ham, where he will be appreciated.

Tottenham have been below-par in recent weeks, too, failing to win Manchester City and Sunderland, whilst scraping past Wycombe in the FA Cup and with a penalty against Middlesbrough last weekend.

Not a fixture we care too much about. It will have top-four implications, but unless you win the title, who wants to be first, second or third losers? Yawn.

VERDICT: LIVERPOOL 1 TOTTENHAM 1 @ 5/1

BEST BET: BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE @ 7/10

Dyche Sean.jpg

BURNLEY v CHELSEA

Sunday, 1.30pm

This was always a good fixture until real football stopped. That was around the mid-Eighties in our opinion, when games in the middle of February were either frozen off or played on either bogs or sand-lots. Yes, we remember the Baseball Ground, we hanker for Stamford Bridge’s quagmires. We liked shirts without advertising, proper football, real tackles, and mesmeric wingers who could ghost past full-backs on any surface, skimpy shorts [think you had better stop there – ED].

Then the TV billions brought in the sharks who could afford to buy clubs and take advantage of the endless supply of revenue. ‘Star’ foreign players were bought. The hype was swallowed by a gullible generation who would never have been allowed out of their parents’ sight, never mind experience the pleasure of kicking a ball against a wall hour after hour. We know the truth. The Premier League is bang average, full of ordinary players ready to fall over at every opportunity in the hope of conning a match official. Over-paid, lacking moral fibre, each possessing an agent. Our distain for the exemplifiers of the ‘me-first’ generation runs deep.

Burnley are refreshingly holding their own in the Premier League – an honest club, great fans and a salt-of-the-earth manager in Sean Dyche. He tells it like it is. And we love him for that.

Burnley have not beaten Chelsea since 1973. We don’t see that trend ending, despite their exceptional home form. The lumps come via gold-plated baseball bats these days. Pity.
And don’t get us started on selfie-sticks. Just don’t.

VERDICT: BURNLEY 1 CHELSEA 3 @ 11/1

BEST BET: CHELSEA WIN AND BOTH TEAMS SCORE @ 12/5

Vardy Jamie.jpg

SWANSEA CITY v LEICESTER CITY

Sunday, 4pm

We never quite understood why Swansea (7/5) ditched three good managers in the space of two years. Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk all had an expansive style and utilising what flair players they had with great effect. Things have become distinctly forgettable in South Wales since their departure. The Swans have had four different managers in one capacity or another since Monk departed in December 2015 and Paul Clement has a job on is hands keeping them in the top tier.

Leicester (21/10) are suffering a torrid time. They scraped past Derby in the FA Cup fourth round in midweek, needing extra time to do so, but Claudio Ranieri’s humiliation was almost complete when the chairman of the Premier League champions, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (remember this name when playing Scrabble), flew in from Thailand to offer his public backing. Hopefully they won’t be the first champions to be relegated the following season – we hope that accomplishment will befall Tottenham or Liverpool – but it is a distinct possibility, as the Foxes sit just a point above the relegation zone, with Swansea a place below and on the same number of points.

Leicester have failed to win away from home this season and have picked up just three points from their 12 road games. This with a player like Jamie Vardy in their team. How does this happen?

Swansea have looked more organised and cohesive in the last couple of weeks and wins over Southampton and Crystal Palace have boosted morale.

As awful as it seems, we can see Leicester’s troubles increasing here in a clash that has yet to see a draw in the last 10 meetings.

VERDICT: SWANSEA 2 LEICESTER 0 @ 10/1

BEST BET: ONE OR OTHER FAILS TO SCORE @ EVENS

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AFC BOURNEMOUTH v MANCHESTER CITY

Monday, 8pm

Manchester City (4/9) can turn it on whenever it suits them. Usually when they are playing West Ham. Does it have something to do with the fact that their precious millionaires don’t like to get too close to the fans? Intimate grounds can make even Jesus look human. Before those good souls from the… ahem… Christian right who elected Donald Trump get on my case, the Jesus referred to is Gabriel Jesus. Yes, an angel and a saviour! City fans who may have thought Sergio Aguero was the king had better start thinking again. He could be on the way out, with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid the front-runners for his signature.

Jesus, 19, arrived from Palmeiras in Brazil after being signed in the summer. He has scored three goals in four appearances, including a double against Swansea last Sunday and is keeping Aguero out of the side. Though he wears gloves and has ruined his arms with tattoos (a definite no-no for us on both counts), he isn’t a bad player. Time will tell, of course.

Let’s see how he handles the cosy confines of Bournemouth (6/1), whose defence will not doubt be generous again. They shipped six goals at Everton last weekend and have leaked 28 goals in their last nine competitive matches since beating Leicester 1-0 in mid-December. This should be a case of whether or not City’s superstars fancy a trip to the cold South Coast on a Monday night. Their mood will determine how many they will win by.

VERDICT: BOURNEMOUTH 1 MANCHESTER CITY 4 @ 16/1

BEST BET: HT/FT = MAN CITY/MAN CITY @ 4/5


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WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW – MCB’s Premier League Guide

There were plenty of FA Cup shocks last week – and a few in the Premier League in midweek. Will results be easier to predict this weekend?

Complete with the odds from your club’s betting service, we take a glance at all the games in England’s top flight.

Remember, all of the links below are directed to a generic MyClubBetting site. Once you login, you will be redirected to the club betting site that you are registered to.

As always, be sure to share your opinions with us over on the @MyClubBetting twitter page…

If you are not affiliated to a club and wish to take advantage of our great offers or simply have a bet, you can sign up to our Bet4Causes site, where 20% of the bookmaker’s net revenue goes to our chosen charities.

Chelsea v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Group G

CHELSEA v ARSENAL

Saturday, 12.30pm

Draws are few and far between when these two meet – just three stalemates in the last 22 in fact – but that’s what we fancy in this one. We are on a run of nine meetings where either one or the other team failed to score, so we can probably go against the grain on that one as well. That should be a bettor’s philosophy – go against the grain, as in the long run, you may find yourself better off. Trusting our own eyes, Chelsea (10/11) looked as though they would settle for a point at Liverpool in midweek and that is what they got. They would have been un-backable to win the title had they not missed a penalty, and as it is, Arsenal (3/1) are still within sight. Yet unless they win, they can kiss any thoughts of a title goodbye. They will just be happy to remain in the top four after losing at home to Watford, who lost at Millwall in the FA Cup last week. This makes Millwall better than Arsenal in our eyes. Cue complaints from the selfie-stick brigade.

VERDICT: CHELSEA 1 ARSENAL 1 @ 11/2

BEST BET: BOTH TEAMS SCORE @ 8/11 

Allardyce twat 2.jpg

CRYSTAL PALACE v SUNDERLAND

Saturday 3pm

A Championship fixture masquerading as a Premier League game. In truth, Sunderland (17/4) have been circling the relegation plug-hole for a while and you have to feel just a bit sorry for David Moyes, who started his tenure with very little to work with on the pitch, and found the cupboard was bare off it. It is a gamble selling Patrick van Aanholt to Crystal Palace (4/6) to fund a mini-recruitment drive. Getting full-back Bryan Oviedo and the oft-injured Darron Gibson from Everton was not a bad piece of business, though. They are only five points adrift of safety but while securing a valuable point against Tottenham, Sunderland could have done without fellow strugglers Hull and Palace picking up points in midweek. Palace secured three points for the first time since Sam Allardyce (above) took over when winning 2-0 at slumping Bournemouth. The Black Cats have won on their last two trips to Selhurst Park and the side playing at home has won just one of the last eight meetings. Palace are leaky, Sunderland are capable of snatching a point, but the odds suggest they won’t.

VERDICT: CRYSTAL PALACE 2 SUNDERLAND 1 @ 15/2

BEST BET: HT/FT = DRAW/CRYSTAL PALACE @ 10/3

Eddie HOWE

EVERTON v BOURNEMOUTH

Saturday 3pm

Things have gone from bad to worse for Bournemouth (4/1), with striker Callum Wilson suffering a serious knee injury. The Cherries have shipped three goals in nine of their last 14 games and conceded twice against Watford and Crystal Palace in the two outings, so it is easy to see where the problem lies. This is a critical stage of the season for the likeable Eddie Howe (above) and they have taken a big step back since beating Liverpool 4-3 at the Vitality Stadium. Everton (8/11) were a little fortunate to win 1-0 at Crystal Palace and a 1-1 draw at Stoke in midweek was commendable. Seventh in the table and one home defeat says all we need to know. It won’t be long before the players go on their holidays, as they have little to play for except mid-table jostling, but for now, the form team are a short price for a reason. We’ll take an odd result here, though. Just because.

VERDICT: EVERTON 2 BOURNEMOUTH 2 @ 14/1

BEST BET: BOTH TEAMS SCORE @ 8/11

Jurgen Klopp 1.jpg

HULL v LIVERPOOL

Saturday 3pm

It must come as a relief to Jurgen Klopp’s (above) men to play away from Anfield, where Liverpool (4/9) have lost three of their last four in all competitions, a run only halted by a gritty 1-1 draw with Chelsea in midweek. Then again, Hull (13/2) have won two of the last three meetings at home with Liverpool, drawing the other. The last time the Reds won on Humberside was in April 2009 – and that was when Hull had a player sent off with the score at 1-1 (they went on to lose 3-1). Liverpool are out to 16/1 for the title and we don’t think they will get close to Chelsea (who are as big as 3/10 in that market with MCB, when 1/5 elsewhere). Three of Hull’s four wins have come at home and Liverpool have only lost twice on the road. We can see Klopp’s inconsistent side putting on a rare show of strength to grind out a win.

VERDICT: HULL 0 LIVERPOOL 2 @ 11/2

BEST BET: LIVERPOOL TO WIN @ 4/9

Andy Carroll plane.jpg

SOUTHAMPTON v WEST HAM

Saturday 3pm

Somewhere it is written in tablets of stone that West Ham (15/4) shall not win on the South coast. They win at Southampton (3/4) as often as Andy Carroll is fit – or once in a blue moon. In fact, they have not won at St Mary’s since 2000 and those looking for an historical banker bet may wish to consider this. Four wins in 32 trips. That’s the size of it. Southampton have won the last two meetings, but you have to go back to 1998 to see a run of three successive wins against the Hammers. There have been five draws in the last 11 meetings and given their in-and-out form, a point is probably all Slaven Bilic’s men will be able to muster. However, given their 4-0 home drubbing by Manchester City in midweek, we see the Saints edging this.

VERDICT: SOUTHAMPTON 3 WEST HAM 1 @ 14/1

BEST BET: SOUTHAMPTON TO WIN @ 3/4

Everton v Watford - Premier League

WATFORD v BURNLEY

Saturday 3pm

Let’s just say it probably won’t be the first game we see on Match of the Day. Unless it finishes 5-5, but even then we’d bet against it. This game is as fashionable as your local charity shop sale rail. Yet these two sides have one thing in common – they do try and play attractive football. Five of the last seven meetings have been drawn. It is all about survival for these minnows, possibly more so in Watford’s case since they sold Ighalo (above) to some unpronounceable Chinese team you have never heard of. No less than 13 of the last 16 meetings has seen both sides score and that’s almost as good a stat as this one that we’ll give you for nothing: The New England Patriots are the visitors in Sunday’s Super Bowl, so they get to call the coin toss. They have called ‘heads’ every time in the last two seasons. Can you tell we are not too bothered about this game? Good. We aren’t.

VERDICT: WATFORD 3 BURNLEY 2 @ 33/1

BEST BET: OVER 2.5 GOALS @ 13/10

MARK HUGHES

WEST BROM v STOKE

Saturday 3pm

Eighth-placed West Brom (5/4) take on nine-placed Stoke (9/4) in a game only a mother could love. West Brom are enjoying a great season under Tony Pulis, while Mark Hughes’ (above) side have been quietly climbing the table without getting too much attention. The Baggies have scored as many goals as Manchester City at home this season, while Stoke’s three wins and three draws from 11 on the road is not too shabby, either. With respective managers who demand discipline, it is no huge surprise that they have shared just one red card between them all season. Neither side is going anywhere, but it is a ‘Derby’, so the intensity should be ramped up a little. Stoke have not won a game in the last four meetings and the last time they went five in a row without getting one over on West Brom was in 1969. A rare home defeat is the call.

VERDICT: WEST BROM 0 STOKE 1 @ 7/1

BEST BET: STOKE TO WIN @ 9/4

Harry Kane

TOTTENHAM v MIDDLESBROUGH

Saturday 5.30pm

The title door was open a jar when Chelsea were held at Liverpool, but as is invariably the case, Tottenham (1/4) fluffed their lines in failing to beat Sunderland, having previously fluked their way past Wycombe in a 4-3 FA Cup thriller – with a goal in the seventh minute of added time. Even our in-house ref, who played 40 minutes in the first half of his Sunday game (because he forgot it was 45 mins) and added it on in the second half, still didn’t play 97-plus minutes. Some of the refereeing in the EPL is bordering on shambolic. We digress. Tottenham still have the most realistic shot of catching Chelsea, even if they have played below-par in the last couple of weeks. At Sunderland they had one shot in the first half but were better after the break, yet they failed to close the nine-point gap. One of Boro’s (11/1) more creative players Gaston Ramirez has a knee injury and with the want-away midfielder seemingly unhappy, you have to wonder what the mood in the camp is, particularly since they are embroiled in a relegation dogfight. They have collected just three points form their last six games and a trip to a Spurs side keen to put matters right won’t be pretty. No doubt Harry Kane (above) will get on the scoresheet if he plays, but we go for the HT/FT Spurs win instead as our best bet.

VERDICT: TOTTENHAM 4 MIDDLESBROUGH 0

BEST BET: HT/FT = TOTTENHAM/TOTTENHAM @ 4/5

aguero

MAN CITY v SWANSEA

Sunday 1.30pm

A touch of normalcy returned to the sky blue half of Manchester in midweek. A trip to West Ham is as great a tonic as seeing near neighbours United held to a goalless draw with Hull. City’s (1/5) goal difference summarily boosted, they welcome a Swansea (12/1) side that have never managed to take a point on any of the last seven trips to City. And the hosts have a bloke called Jesus playing for them now. Life can be a bit cruel sometimes.

VERDICT: MAN CITY 3 SWANSEA 0 @ 6/1

BEST BET: HT/FT = MAN CITY/MAN CITY @ 4/6

Wayne Rooney1

LEICESTER v MAN UTD

Sunday 4pm

They said Leicester (9/2) could never win the title – until they did. They said a title winner could never be relegated the following season… The sad fact is, one player can, indeed make a team. The loss of Ngolo Kante to Chelsea has produced some horrifying results. Leicester simply don’t do the basis well any more. Kante closed space, harried opponents and gave his teammates time. They defended from the front. They can’t even defend at the back, now. It isn’t difficult. It is basic hard work. But when you are paid that much, why work for it? And that’s the problem with Premier League football. Too much money. Too much lethargy. Or that is the simplistic view, in any case. We could go on about how to defend between the lines etc, but sometimes it really is teaching you lot to suck eggs. You’ve got the talking TV heads for that. United (4/6) have been mid-table ordinary but rarely lose here and have failed to score just once in their last 12 visits. Wayne Rooney (above) is always a viable bet to score at any time but we go for Over 2.5 Goals as our best bet.

VERDICT: LEICESTER 0 MAN UTD 3 @ 10/1

BEST BET: OVER 2.5 GOALS @ 21/20

Stay tuned to our WordPress site for Previews and Betting Guides on a variety of Sports….

Get your club, however large or small, its own tailor-made betting service – FREE – and start benefiting now! See myclubbetting.com for details.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

WEEKEND BETTING PREVIEW – MCB’s FA Cup 4th round guide

There were few shocks in the last round of the F.A. Cup, although there were a few shocks with our Best Bets last week: we nailed a few Premier League winning selections!

The FA Cup returns this weekend, with all 16 fourth-round ties taking place between Friday and Sunday.

Our team has taken the time to analyse the six televised games taking place, providing you with a few tips along the way.

Remember, all of the links below are directed to a generic MyClubBetting site. Once you login, you will be redirected to the club betting site that you are registered to.

As always, be sure to share your opinions with us over on the @MyClubBetting twitter page…

If you are not affiliated to a club and wish to take advantage of our great offers or simply have a bet, you can sign up to our Bet4Causes site, where 20% of the bookmaker’s net revenue goes to our chosen charities.

Complete with the odds from your club’s betting service, we take a glance at the televise F.A. Cup Fourth round matches this weekend…

FA Cup Man Utd.jpg

DERBY v LEICESTER

Friday, 7.55pm

Championship Derby (8/5) have been rock-solid at home. The Championship side conceded twice to Reading last weekend, but it was the first time since September 24 that they had conceded a goal at Pride Park.

They went on to win 3-2 and are nicely settled in seventh place, well within shouting distance of their playoff rivals. Steve McClaren’s side has only conceded seven goals in 14 home games and the Rams won half of those encounters.

Derby won 2-1 at Premier League West Brom in the previous round, so the stuttering champions of England should hold few fears.

However, Leicester (17/10) have held sway over the Rams in the past few seasons. Winning eight of the last nine games, Derby’s sole success was a 2-1 win in the Championship back in March 2013. Positive results have been common in their meetings, too, with just five of the last 31 clashes ending in stalemate.

Leicester may well be struggling at the moment. Their away form is dreadful, taking just three points from a possible 33 on their EPL travels. Furthermore, they have yet to register a road win and have notched just eight times in those 11 games.

Derby will have their tails up, but something tells us that the relief of playing in the FA Cup, away from the constant pressure at both ends of the table in the last 18 months, will be just what the Foxes and Claudio Ranieri need. We take City to edge it with Jamie Vardy possibly enjoying the spotlight again.

VERDICT: DERBY 0 LEICESTER 2 @ 12/1

BEST BET: J VARDY ANYTIME SCORER @ 13/8

vardy-celebrates

LIVERPOOL v WOLVES

Saturday, 12.30pm

Liverpool (1/4) may have suffered a hammer blow to their Premier League title chances last weekend, in going down to a shock 3-2 loss at home to struggling Swansea. Jurgen Klopp’s side now trail Chelsea by 10 points and with the two Manchester clubs chasing hard, there is no guarantee of European football next season.

They have plenty of issues at the back, which is a bit of a recurring theme over the past few seasons and have shipped 12 more goals than Chelsea. Their away form has also been better than it has been at home, even though the Reds’ loss to the Swans was their first at Anfield for over 12 months. They have won one of their last seven in all competitions at home and had to go to Plymouth to sneak through 1-0 in a replay after their FA Cup third round tie ended goalless at Anfield.

They have missed Sadio Mane, who has been ruled out since January 2, while influential midfielder Philippe Coutinho has only recently returned from a six-week lay-off with an ankle ligament injury and Joel Matip has only just rejoined the defence. The problems are not all about individuals, however. They look vulnerable when the ball is pumped into the box.

Having had a gruelling League Cup semi-final second leg against Southampton on Wednesday – and suffering another bitter home defeat – many will fancy Wolves’ (9/1) chances of causing an upset.

Wanderers sit 18th in the Championship, but dumped out Stoke in the last round and turned over Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago. While they went down 3-1 at Norwich, Paul Lambert had to use all three subs by the time keeper Carl Ikeme had been sent off for a push on Wes Hoolihan. In Wanda Helder Costa, they have a striker who can cause plenty of problems for Liverpool. Indeed, we see Wolves notching at least once at Anfield.

However, it is unlikely that Klopp (below) will make wholesale changes and take the visitors lightly, so we plump for a home win with Wolves suffering a backlash for the Reds’ League Cup exit.

VERDICT: LIVERPOOL 3 WOLVES 1 @ 10/1

BEST BET: LIVERPOOL WIN & BOTH TEAMS SCORE @ 15/8

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON v ARSENAL

Saturday, 5.30pm

Arsenal (11/10) do not have particularly fond memories of recent trips to St Mary’s. In fact they have won just one of their last six trips to the south coast and have won just three of the last 10 meetings with the Southampton (12/5) in all competitions. They have failed to register a goal in four of the last five clashes, too.

So, do we sniff an upset?

This has come at the wrong time for the Saints, who are victims of their own success, having had to face Liverpool at Anfield in midweek. Though they won 1-0 to reach their first domestic final since 2003, that game will have taken plenty out of Cluade Puel’s side. They will no doubt be aching from that clash (celebratory hangovers aside) and possibly from laughing so hard at West Ham paying £8m for 33-year-old defender Jose Fonte last week.

Saints are going nowhere in mid-table, so the Cup competitions are a nice distraction, but we feel this could be one game too many.

Arsenal are still in the hunt for the title after an unconvincing 2-1 win at home to Burnley, but the fact that Danny Welback (below) is up and running again means Wenger will have plenty of firepower at his disposal, particularly with Olivier Giroud in fine form.

We take the Gunners to get a least a draw out of this and while they are short enough at 21/20 to win, Saints could be running on empty by the second half.

VERDICT: SOUTHAMPTON 1 ARSENAL 4 @ 33/1

BEST BET: BOTH TEAMS SCORE @ 4/6

welbeck

MILLWALL v WATFORD

Sunday, 12.00

Millwall (2/1) caused a big shock in the third round, knocking out Premier League Bournemouth in convincing style. However, Eddie Howe made so many changes that Millwall should really have been heavy favourites, rather than the outsiders they were.

Watford (11/8) will not be such easy prey for the Lions. Indeed, they have a horrible record against the Hornets, who have lost twice in the last 16 meetings, winning 10. In fact, Watford have lost just once in their last eight trips to The New Den, which would have become the old New Den if Lewisham Council had not backtracked on their Compulsory Purchase Order plans this week.

The League One side may be just three points off the play-off places and that is where their priorities lay, but while their home form has seen them win seven of 13 and aside from their win over Bournemouth, they have yet to win in January, notching draws at AFC Wimbledon, Charlton and Bradford City. To be fair, they have not lost, either.

Watford’s campaign has been beset by injuries and they have not won in seven league games. Yet there were signs at Bournemouth last weekend that Walter Mazzarri’s (below) side were ready to bounce back. Despite their rather generous odds of 11/8 – which often sets alarm bells ringing – we see the Hornets as one of the better bets this weekend.

VERDICT: MILLWALL 0 WATFORD 2 @ 10/1

BEST BET: WATFORD TO WIN @ 11/8

Walter Mazzarri.jpg

SUTTON v LEEDS

Sunday, 2.00pm

National League Sutton (4/1) set up a tasty TV tie after knocking out 10-man AFC Wimbledon with a 3-1 win at The Cherry Road Stadium in a replay.

Leeds (4/6), who last won this competition on 1972 under Don Revie, should be a couple of classes apart and having been given a scare by Cambridge United, they won’t take this game lightly.

Garry Monk, who was harshly dispensed with by Swansea, has got ‘dirty’ Leeds playing some attractive football and they are in the thick of the play-off battle in the Championship. While they could have done without a midweek clash with Nottingham Forest (which they won 2-0 to put them third in the table), they should get through this tie without too much fuss, nice story though it is.

VERDICT: SUTTON 0 LEEDS 4 @ 22/1

BEST BET: LEEDS TO WIN @ 4/6

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League

MAN UTD v WIGAN

Sunday, 4.00pm

If there was a ‘form’ game that we could consider to be a banker, then this is it. Wigan (14/1) have won a grand total of one meeting in the last 18 against Manchester United (1/6) – who have won the other 17 clashes. Just the recipe for a shock result, then?

Not quite. If history is anything to go by, they will not only fail to score – as has happened in eight of the last nine encounters – they will lose by at least two clear goals, as has been the case in 14 of their last 18 meetings. In fact, Wigan have managed just one goal in their last 10 visits to Old Trafford. Oddly, there has not been a draw and the law of betting averages says we are overdue. But given the history, we’d want double the 6/1 currently offered for that to happen.

Much depends on the strength of the United side that Jose Mourinho (above) will put out. He has already made noises this week about fixture congestion, and it has not helped that United had to travel to Hull for League Cup semi-final second leg on Thursday. They are, of course, in the Europa League, so how much emphasis they place on this competition is arguable.

Still, we are happy to roll with the hosts, whatever side the Special One puts out.

VERDICT: MAN UTD 4 WIGAN 0 @ 15/2

BEST BET: ONE OR OTHER FAILS TO SCORE @ 4/7

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WEEKEND BETTING GUIDE: OUR TOP TIPS

There is a busy weekend of sport coming-up, with a headline World Title fight in Las Vegas and some huge football clashes from around Europe all ahead.

Below, we analyse some of the biggest action – providing you with insight, information and some top tips along the way!

MAN UNITED v ARSENAL

Saturday – 12:30

Mesut Ozil enjoyed his meetings with Manchester United last season.

Ozil (below) netted in both of his sides games against the Red Devils and was unplayable during their meeting at the Emirates last October – giving Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger a truly torrid time.

ozil

While he is usually known for his assists, it has been Ozil’s goal scoring that has hit the headlines this season.

The World Cup winner has netted on seven occasions already this season, and it wouldn’t surprise us if he added to that on Saturday lunchtime.

BEST BET: OZIL – ANYTIME SCORER @ 3/1

TOTTENHAM v WEST HAM

Saturday – 17:30

Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat at Upton Park in March bought their title challenge to a halt – which pleased West Ham fans massively.

When it comes to away form, only three clubs have a worse record than the Hammers this season.

West Ham have lost four of their five away Premier League games so far and have shipped eleven goals in the process.

While games between the sides at Upton Park were generally tight, low scoring affairs – the same cannot be said about their clashes at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham and West Ham have shared a staggering 20 goals during their last five meetings at White Hart Lane, with every game ending with more than two goals.

Expect the net to bulge on numerous occasions at White Hart Lane this weekend!

BEST BET: OVER 2.5 GOALS @ 8/11

DORTMUND v BAYERN

Saturday – 17:30

It’s fair to say that the playing staff of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich know each other pretty well.

Big names have moved between the two clubs with great frequency over the last few years, meaning Mats Hummels, Robert Lewandowski and Mario Götze (below) will all be facing their former clubs on Saturday evening.

gotze

These two teams are the strongest in Germany by a country mile, so naturally, recent meetings have been cagey affairs.

Take away Bayern’s 5-1 romp last season and the sides have shared just five goals in their last five meetings – with three draws coming during that period.

In our eyes, these German heavyweights can’t be separated so we are sitting on the fence and opting for the draw.

BEST BET: THE DRAW @ 5/2

THE MADRID DERBY

Saturday – 19:45

Games between these two clubs have been more frequent than a Jose Mourinho tantrum, with Real and Atletico meeting on a whopping 11 occasions during the last two seasons.

Their last clash came back in May’s Champions League Final – a game that Real Madrid eventually won on penalties.

That said, the Vicente Calderon has not been a happy hunting ground for Real of late. In fact, Los Blancos haven’t managed to win in any of their last six away games against at Atletico.

It is also worth noting that Atletico have only dropped points at home on one occasion this season.

We see the hosts getting revenge for their recent Champions League Final loss on Saturday night.

BEST BET: ATLETICO TO WIN @ 7/5

ANDRE WARD v SERGEY KOVALEV

Sunday – 04:00

After two years of contractual disputes and injuries, Andre Ward is back where he belongs. Since returning to action last year, the American has won all four of his bouts with real ease.

However, in the early hours of Sunday he faces arguably the biggest test of his career – Sergey Kovalev.

kovalev

Kovalev (above) is an orthodox light heavyweight with frightening punch power.

Since making the headlines in 2013 with his impressive victory against Welshman Nathan Cleverly, the Russian has beaten Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal (twice) and Isaac Chilemba, collecting three World Titles in the process.

While Ward is one of the most talented fighters on the planet, his last real test came five years ago, against our own Carl Froch.

Both fighters are unbeaten so somebody’s ‘0’ has got to go this weekend.

We see Kovalev causing a shock.

BEST BET: KOVALEV TO WIN @ 11/10

THE MILAN DERBY

Sunday – 19:45

While games between Inter and AC Milan aren’t quite as eagerly anticipated as in years gone by, they do still whet the appetite of the die-hard armchair football fan.

So far, AC Milan have enjoyed a far better campaign than their neighbours. Vincenzo Montella’s men sit eight points and six places above Inter, who recently sacked Franck De Boer after just 85 days in charge.

Recent meetings between the two Milan clubs have been low scoring. Other than Milan’s 3-0 win in January, all of the last nine clashes between the San Siro occupants have ended with two goals or less.

In fact, only two of those nine meetings have ended with both teams scoring.

Everything points to a low scoring encounter at the San Siro and we find it very hard to disagree.

BEST BET: UNDER 2.5 GOALS @ 7/10

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This article was written by Calum Chinchen, the Head of Social Media at MyClubBetting.

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2016/17 PREMIER LEAGUE: THE COMPLETE BETTING GUIDE

Calum Chinchen analyses the 2016/17 Premier League campaign, giving you some top tips and insight along the way!

Defending Champions Leicester City will have to juggle Champions League action with Premier League games, something that will be a million miles from their comfort zone.

It’s fair to say that Leicester have a lack of squad depth at present. Take away their unbelievable commitment and the main reason for the Foxes title success last season was keeping key players fit.

Leicester City v Everton - Barclays Premier League

Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Jamie Vardy missed just four Premier League games between them last season, with Mahrez and Vardy sharing a staggering 41 goals along the way.

However, with Kante having already departed, Mahrez reportedly looking for a move and at least an extra six games to be played during the early months – we see it being an uphill battle for Claudio Ranieri’s side, and don’t forecast them finishing inside the top six this season.

Pep Guardiola will manage in the Premier League for the first time this season, after he replaced Manuel Pellegrini as Manchester City boss over the summer.

Guardiola’s new side are the 9/4 favourites in this season’s Premier League winner market, and the Spaniard will be looking to win a league title in his debut season for the third time in his short managerial career.

Despite their disappointing 2015/16 campaign, Guardiola has inherited a hugely talented squad, adding the likes of Nolito and Ilkay Gundogan to that impressive unit since his arrival.

AGUERO

Make no mistakes, Sergio Aguero is still Manchester City’s key man. The Argentine managed an impressive 24 goals in an injury hit last campaign, which saw him miss eight league games. In fact, since arriving in the Premier League, Aguero (above) has only exceeded 30 league appearances in a single season on two occasions.

In our eyes, Guardiola’s side fully deserve their favourites tag, and we see them lifting the famous Premier League trophy come May – particularly if a certain Mr Aguero can stay fit!

Manchester United are the 16/5 second favourites for this season’s Premier League crown.

Winning last season’s FA Cup wasn’t enough to save Louis Van Gaal’s job and he was replaced with the ever controversial Jose Mourinho over the summer.

Mourinho (below) has bought in a wealth of big names since being appointed, and despite paying way over the odds in transfer fees, agent payments and wages, there is no doubting that Zlatan Ibrahimović, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will improve United’s squad.

Manchester United Officially Introduce Jose Mourinho as Their New Manager

Like his former manager and verbal sparring partner, Guardiola, this campaign will be Ibrahimović’s first in English football. The Swede is a 8/1 shot to be Premier League top scorer, and he has every chance, especially if Wayne Rooney is employed in his favoured number ten position.

Chelsea will be looking to improve on last year’s horror show in the Premier League. During their dismal title defence, the West Londoners managed just 12 wins en-route to a disappointing tenth place finish.

This prompted Roman Abramovich to appoint former Juventus and Italy boss, Antonio Conte as the club’s new manager. During his five years with Juve, Conte (below) managed to win the Serie A title on an impressive three occasions.

CONTE

Conceding goals was Chelsea’s main issue last season. The Blues conceded a staggering 53 goals, and while many may point the finger at their ageing back four, the more knowledgeable football fan would blame the lack of midfield cover.

Nemanja Matic was nothing short of awful during his little playing time last season, with his mistakes and lack of positional sense often placing his back four under massive pressure. This was obviously common knowledge to the new Chelsea manager, who splashed out over £30m on N’Golo Kante from Leicester City not long after his arrival.

There is no doubt in our minds that Chelsea will be back in title contention this season, especially with the signing of Kante – a player who never seems to leave his defence exposed.

While it seems short, their 4/7 price for a top four finish is looking like free money to us.

In our minds, it is a formality that Arsenal will join Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs in next year’s Champions League, however will that be enough to keep their fans happy?

The answer is a resounding…NO!

While Arsenal supporters have every right to feel aggrieved at not winning a Premier League title for over 10 years, they should remember that it could be a lot worse. Let’s not forget, the Gunners have qualified for the Champions League in each of the last 18 seasons and were FA Cup winners in two of the last three years.

GIROUD

Olivier Giroud (above) is a fine centre forward and there is no doubting his obvious qualities, however he seems to struggle when playing as the lone forward. Giroud prefers to operate alongside a faster, more goal driven front man, which was evident at Euro 2016, where his link-up play with Antoine Griezmann set pulses racing.

However, if Arsene Wenger is going to continue with the same system as in recent years, then Giroud just isn’t the man for the job. In our mind, Wenger either needs to play Alexis Sanchez beside the Frenchman in a 4-4-2 system, or replace him for a more complete and dynamic forward.

The central defensive position has also been a problem for the Gunners, with Laurent Koscielny in real need of a new partner. Per Mertesacker is a leader with great positioning, however he is far too slow for the Premier League these days, and as for Gabriel, he is simply nowhere near good enough.

Granit Xhaka arrived for big money in the summer, and like Kante at Chelsea, we expect his combative style to provide some well needed protection for the Arsenal back four.

SANCHEZ OZIL

There is no doubting that any side containing Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez (above) should be challenging for the title, but until Arsenal address their issues at centre back and centre forward, they will just have to settle for a top four spot.

Liverpool were arguably the most inconsistent side in the Premier League last season.

Despite some fine away victories against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, the Mersysiders eventually finished in eighth position after losing 12 games and conceding 50 goals in the Premier League.

With Christian Benteke looking almost certain to leave, and Daniel Sturridge’s constant injury battles, there is no doubting that Jürgen Klopp (below) needs to invest in a top striker if his side are going to challenge for Champions League football this season.

Stoke City v Liverpool - Capital One Cup - Semi Final - First Leg - Britannia Stadium

Liverpool are a 6/4 shot to finish in the top four, and unless consistency levels are increased, we don’t see Champions League qualification being likely.

Tottenham fans will still be reeling after last season’s final game. Mauricio Pochettino’s men were thrashed at already relegated Newcastle – a result that caused them to fall below their bitter rivals Arsenal for yet another season.

Despite his dire Euro 2016 performances, we still fancy Harry Kane to have a successful season at White Hart Lane. Kane (below) is the heartbeat of the current Tottenham side, and his link up play with the likes of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli always seems to result in clear goal scoring opportunities. Considering Sergio Aguero’s recent injury troubles, Kane’s top scorer price of 7/1 looks like real value.

SOCCER: FEB 14 Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur at Manchester City

When it comes to Tottenham, we just feel as though they missed their chance of success last season. With their Arsenal curse still in place and the likes of Man United and Chelsea adding real quality, we see Spurs struggling for a Champions League qualification spot, and 11/10 for a top four finish looks far from enticing to us.

If anyone is going to challenge the top six this season, then we see it being either Everton or West Ham.

Ronald Koeman made the switch to Goodison Park over the summer, and there is no doubting his managerial capabilities.

Despite a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign, Romelu Lukaku is still vital for the Toffees, and they will need to keep hold of him if they are going to challenge for a European spot.

John Stones looks certain to join Manchester City for a mind blowing fee, and while that won’t bother too many Evertonians, getting an adequate replacement is still going to be vital.

Slaven Bilic has worked wonders since taking over at West Ham, guiding the club to an impressive seventh place finish last season. Bilic hasn’t rested on his laurels since, and has arguably done the best business of any Premier League manager so far this summer.

Havard Nordtveit and Sofiane Feghouli both arrived on free transfers, while Gokhan Tore was bought to the club on an initial season long loan deal.

PAYET

It also looks like Dimitri Payet (above) will be staying at the club, which will delight Hammers fans, particularly after his wonderful Euro 2016 campaign.

Southampton, Stoke and Crystal Palace all look near certainties for a mid-table finish. While all three sides have far too much depth to be considered for relegation, each of the clubs seem to lack the quality required for European qualification.

In terms of the newly promoted sides, Middlesbrough look the most equipped to fight relegation.

Manager Aitor Karanka (below) has worked wonders in the transfer window, adding Alvaro Negredo, Victor Valdes and Antonio Barragan to a squad that in our minds, was already ready for the Premier League.

KARANKA

Hull and Burley were also promoted last season, but we see their fight against relegation being far more difficult.

In truth, neither club have added much Premier League quality to their already paper thin squads, and it would surprise if these two sides were playing in the second tier again next season.

Bournemouth are a side that worry us this season. The Cherries are 16/5 to be relegated from the Premier League, which seems like value, particularly when you mention these fatal three words – second season syndrome.

Eddie Howe (below) may have spent big in the summer, but he has failed to bring in anyone with real Premier League experience. Brad Smith and Jordan Ibe both arrived from Liverpool, however, the two men have less than 50 top flight appearances between them.

HOWE

Matt Ritchie was Bournemouth’s key man last season, however he departed for Newcastle over the summer.

Watford, West Brom and Swansea all had disappointing campaigns last year, and all three sides will need to improve if they are going to avoid relegation and climb the Premier League table.

Sunderland have become the masters of last minute relegation survival over the last few years, with Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat and Sam Allardyce all rescuing the Black Cats in the previous three campaigns.

As you all will know, Allardyce departed the Stadium of Light to take the England job a few weeks ago, with David Moyes being appointed as his replacement. Moyes will undoubtedly be looking to settle some scores after a wretched spell at Manchester United and if his new side manage to start well, then there is absolutely no reason why they can’t reach mid-table security.

That said, the jury is out on whether Sunderland can avoid another relegation scrap if they are in trouble come May.

OUR SELECTIONS

WINNER: MAN CITY @ 9/4

TOP SCORER: HARRY KANE @ 7/1

RELEGATION: BOURNEMOUTH @ 16/5

As always, be sure to share your views and opinions with us over on the @MyClubBetting Twitter page.

Remember, MyClubBetting and Bet4Causes have this amazing Premier League offer for the upcoming campaign!

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Get your club, however large or small, its own tailor-made betting service – FREE – and start benefiting now! See myclubbetting.com for details.

If you are not affiliated to a club, you can bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood, World Horse Welfare and StreetGames.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly: www.gambleaware.co.uk

2016 FA CUP FINAL: OUR BETTING GUIDE

There is no doubting that the FA Cup Final is still one of the biggest spectacles on the sporting calendar, and this year, Crystal Palace and Manchester United do battle for the world famous trophy at Wembley.

Below, MyClubBetting and Bet4Causes tipster Calum Chinchen analyses Saturday’s game, providing you with a few tips in the process!

Don’t forget to share your opinions with us via the @MyClubBetting Twitter page.

FA Cup Final

Manchester United (3/4) are no strangers to FA Cup finals, and will be looking to get their hands on the famous trophy for the 12th time in their illustrious history. The Red Devils last tasted FA Cup final success at the Millennium Stadium back in 2004 when they beat another South London club, Millwall, by three goals to nil.

It has been a different story for Crystal Palace (17/4) who last reached the FA Cup Final in 1990, when they faced…that’s right, Manchester United.

A replay was needed that year after their first game at Wembley ended in an exhilarating 3-3 draw, and it was the Manchester club who eventually lifted the trophy after Lee Martin’s solitary goal in the second meeting.

Crystal Palace manager, Alan Pardew was in the Eagles’ team that day, and it was his heroics that secured a final spot for the South Londoners a few weeks earlier. Pardew (below) got a vital winner in the semi-final against Liverpool, making him an instant hero amongst Palace fans for years to come.

PARDEW

Things haven’t exactly gone to plan for Louis van Gaal and Manchester United this season. The Red Devils missed out on Champions League qualification after eventually finishing fifth in the league, after beating Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

There is absolutely no doubt that finding the net has been the main issue for the Manchester Club during this campaign. The negative style adopted by van Gaal (below) has come under criticism all season, from both fans and pundits alike. In all honestly it is very hard to argue with that negativity, especially when you consider that United’s lowly Premier League goals tally of 49 is a staggering 22 goals short of that recorded by rivals and league top scorers, Manchester City.

VAN GAAL

It has most definitely been a season of two halves for Crystal Palace. After 19 league games, Alan Pardew’s men found themselves in fifth position – recording nine wins and collecting an impressive 31 points.

However, the Eagles really struggled for form after the turn of the year and only managed to win on two occasions – eventually finishing just five points above the relegation zone.

It is fair to say that Man United have dominated this fixture in recent years. The Red Devils are unbeaten in all of their last six games against Palace, drawing once and winning five times during that period.

United usually manage to stop Palace scoring too, and have managed to keep 10 clean sheets during the previous 13 clashes between the two sides.

That said, the last time the sides met in a domestic cup competition, it was Palace who came out on top. Darren Ambrose’s extra time wonder goal at Old Trafford back in 2011 was enough to send Palace through to the sixth round of the League Cup.

One man who enjoys playing in this fixture is Juan Mata. In a Manchester United shirt, the Spaniard has netted in two of his four appearances against Sunday’s opponents. Mata (below) has been one of United’s most consistent performers this season, scoring on six occasions and laying on five assists during their Premier League campaign.

MATA

While Mata can find the net in this fixture, not many others can. Amazingly, only one of the last six meetings between these sides has ended with more than two goals.

In all honesty, both sides have also struggled for goals in the league this season. Between them, United and Palace shared just 88 goals between them in the entire 2015/16 campaign.

With all that in mind, it is hard not to side with recent history here. Everything points to a low scoring encounter, with Manchester United eventually coming out on top.

BEST BETS

UNDER 2.5 GOALS @ 4/7

MAN UTD WIN TO NIL @ 7/5

JUAN MATA – ANYTIME GOALSCORER @ 5/2

MyClubBetting & Bet4Causes are refunding all losing correct score bets if the FA Cup Final finishes goalless after 90 minutes!

FA-Cup_FINAL_MCB_1024x512

Get your club, however large or small, its own tailor-made betting service – FREE – and start benefiting now! See myclubbetting.com for details.

If you are not affiliated to a club, you can bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include GreatwoodWorld Horse Welfare and StreetGames.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

WEEKEND BETTING GUIDE: 5 PREMIER LEAGUE TIPS

We hope you are enjoying your new & improved MyClubBetting service. Check it out! And if your club or team has not yet taken advantage, it is time you did.

Get one – it’s completely FREE! Take a look at myclubbetting.com and sign up your club at signup.myclubbetting.com – see the great benefits your club can receive, such as 20% cash back and free kit and promotional material!

Complete with the odds from your club’s betting service, we give you our five best bets of the Premier League weekend…

ARSENAL v WATFORD

There is absolutely no doubting that Arsenal (1.36) need a win at the Emirates on Saturday if they are going to stay in the title race. Despite having a game in hand, Arsene Wenger’s men come into this clash eleven points behind leaders Leicester. However, the Gunners will be buoyed after a dominant 2-0 win at Goodison Park last time out.

Watford (9.00) shocked everyone with a win at the Emirates in the FA Cup quarter final just three weeks ago. Goals from Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura gave the Hornets a memorable 2-1 victory, allowing them to progress to Wembley for a semi-final clash with Crystal Palace.

Alex Iwobi has made the headlines in recent weeks. Iwobi (below) is the nephew of former Bolton Wanderers trickster Jay-Jay Okocha and after holding his own against Barcelona in the always daunting Camp Nou a fortnight ago, he then scored on his full Premier League debut against Everton just three days later.

IWOBI

With the form of Theo Walcott and the injury record of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both coming under serious scrutiny of late, it would surprise nobody if the Nigerian international went on to cement a place in the Gunners starting eleven in the near future.

Watford’s recent away Premier League record will be of great concern to Quique Sanchez Flores. The Hornets haven’t won a single league game on the road in 2016, losing four, and drawing one of their five away games since the turn of the year.

Goals are usually on the agenda in games at the Emirates. 11 goals have been scored in the last five games at the stadium, with three of the last five Premier League ties ending with more than two goals.

It is also worth noting that neither of this season’s meetings between Arsenal and Watford have ended with less than three goals being scored.

Everything points to high scoring encounter at the Emirates.

VERDICT: ARSENAL 3 WATFORD 1 @ 11.00

BEST BET: OVER 2.5 GOALS @ 1.70

BOURNEMOUTH v MAN CITY

Eddie Howe will be delighted with his side’s recent form. Prior to their defeat at White Hart Lane last time out, Bournemouth (3.60) had recorded three straight wins to all but secure their Premier League status for next season.

Manchester City (2.05) are really struggling for league form. Despite winning the League Cup and advancing the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Manuel Pellegrini’s men have won just one of their last six Premier League games, losing four times during that period.

When Benik Afobe, Juan Iturbe and Lewis Grabban arrived at Bournemouth in the January transfer window, many expected Josh King to lose his place in the starting eleven. However, the new arrivals have had a wonderful effect on King, whose form has gone from strength to strength since January. The former Manchester United and Blackburn forward has found the net at crucial times this season, including recent strikes against relegation rivals Swansea and Newcastle.

Yaya Toure during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City

Yaya Toure’s work rate and form has come under real question this season. While the big Ivorian has netted six league goals during the campaign, he has only managed to make five assists, which is far from impressive when you consider that he is in charge of all of City’s set pieces. Being caught too far up the field or out of position is also something that Toure (above) has been guilty of during this campaign. The former Barcelona man often leaves his midfield partner (whether it is Fernando or Fernandinho) exposed, allowing sides to catch City on the counter attack with great regularity and effect.

Despite recent form, we see this as an ideal chance for Man City to get back on track, particularly when you consider Bournemouth’s potential lack of focus after becoming almost certainties to avoid relegation.

We are going for an away win here.

VERDICT: BOURNEMOUTH 1 MAN CITY 2 @ 8.50

BEST BET: MAN CITY TO WIN @ 2.05

STOKE v SWANSEA

Stoke (2.15) are in a rich vein of form. The Potters have taken 13 points from their last six games, winning four times in the process. Mark Hughes will be hoping that his side can continue their run and secure a top 10 finish, with Stoke currently seven points clear of West Brom, who are occupying eleventh position.

In their last Premier League outing, Swansea (3.60) got a vital win 1-0 over Aston Villa to move ten points clear of the relegation zone. That victory was the Swans’ third from their last four league games, and while they are far from safe in their relegation battle, they are now in a far better position that they were when Garry Monk left the club.

Jack Butland has been Stoke’s best player this season, however his injury while on international duty with England has ruled him out for the rest of the season. That means Mark Hughes will have to call-on veteran keeper Shay Given for the remainder of the campaign. The Premier League stalwart joined Stoke in the summer as back-up to the talented Butland, and should make his first Premier League appearance for the Potters on Saturday.

Football - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v Swansea

Gylfi Sigurdsson (above) is in fine goal scoring form of late. The attacking midfielder has taken his Premier League tally to nine for the season with recent goals against Norwich and Newcastle, making him the Swans top scorer, ahead of all three of the club’s strikers.

Stoke have a solid recent record against Saturday’s opponents, losing just one of the last five meetings between the clubs. The Potters have also beaten Swansea in three of their last four clashes at the Britannia Stadium.

We can’t see past a home win here.

VERDICT: STOKE 2 SWANSEA 0 @ 9.00

BEST BET: STOKE TO WIN @ 2.15

LIVERPOOL v TOTTENHAM

Jürgen Klopp will still be reeling after the last round of Premier League fixtures. Liverpool (2.50) surrendered a two goal lead away at Southampton, eventually losing 3-2 after a second half capitulation.

One positive point from the game, was the performance of Daniel Sturridge. The striker appeared to be back to full fitness at St Marys, looking a threat throughout – calmly curling home in the first half to put his side 2-0 up.

Tottenham (2.88) are five points behind Leicester, therefore they cannot afford to lose this one. Mauricio Pochettino’s men won comfortably at home to Bournemouth last time out, however, Tottenham have lost two of their last three away games in all competitions.

Harry Kane is the clear favourite to be this season’s top scorer in the Premier League, but as we have seen in recent weeks, there is far more to his game than simply poaching. Kane (below) is the complete forward, who has very few weaknesses. This was particularly evident during his performance for England in Berlin last weekend. Kane’s hold-up play and energy caused the German defence all sorts of problem, while the neat turn and finish for his goal left jaws dropping.

KANE

These two sides are separated by a staggering 17 Premier League points, with Tottenham currently seven places higher than Saturday’s opponents. However, it is Liverpool who have the far better record in this fixture over the years. The Mersysiders haven’t lost to Tottenham in any of their last six meetings, winning five, drawing one and remarkably, scoring 18 times against the North Londoners during that period.

While we aren’t totally convinced by Liverpool, we just feel that the away side are far too short for this one, particularly when you consider that Tottenham haven’t won at Anfield since 2011.

VERDICT: LIVERPOOL 2 TOTTENHAM 1 @ 9.50

BEST BET: LIVERPOOL – DRAW NO BET @ 1.75

MAN UNITED v EVERTON

In their last Premier League outing, Manchester United (2.00) got a vital 1-0 win at the Etihad against bitter local rivals, Manchester City. That Manchester derby victory pushed Louis Van Gaal’s men to within one point of the Champions League qualification places, which is vital for the Red Devils, as their exit from both European competitions now means league qualification is the only way of them reaching next year’s Champions League competition.

Despite reaching the FA Cup semi-finals, Everton (3.80) have had a poor season under Roberto Martinez. The Toffees are languishing in the bottom half of the table after winning only nine of their 29 league games so far.

Marcus Rashford has wasted no time in making himself a hero among the Man United faithful. The 18 year-old striker gave Martin Demichelis a torrid time against Manchester City last weekend, and his winner against United’s bitter rivals was more than deserved after his hard-working display. Since making his debut just a month ago, Rashford (below) has netted on five occasions, including last weekend’s derby strike and his impressive brace against Arsenal.

RASHFORD

Despite their struggles, Manchester United have one of the most impressive away records in the Premier League this season – taking 28 points from 14 games at Old Trafford so far.

That said, Everton have done well on the road, with their defeat at the Emirates being the only blotch on their 2015/16 away Premier League record.

Goals are usually on the agenda when these sides meet, with Everton and Man United sharing an impressive 11 goals during their last 4 clashes.

It is also worth noting that the Toffees have scored on three of their last four visits to Old Trafford.

We fancy both sides to get on the scoresheet here, with the hosts nicking a victory.

VERDICT: MAN UNITED 2 EVERTON 1 @ 9.00

BEST BET: BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE @ 1.83

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