Saturday Column – The Footy and The Horses
Those who only focused on the Manchester City versus Tottenham Hotspur game would have been pleased to see Sterling and Moura both find the net. The latter came on as a substitute which may have prevented a few punters latching on at the start. The three English Football League divisions continue to be a puzzle few people can solve, although Leeds United have started well in the Championship once again.
In all four English divisions, only Liverpool and Arsenal have a 100% record (after two games), and at least one perfect record will go this weekend as the two teams face off at Anfield.
1 – English Premier League
Manchester City will be positively burning with indignation having battered Spurs to a pulp and seemingly secured a last gasp winner. As was the case in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals, the Citizens had the goal ruled out by VAR. Expect Bournemouth to be on the wrong end of the sky-blue machine on Sunday.
In the corresponding fixture last season, the Cherries had ZERO shots on OR off goal. City has 23 shots, 82% possession, but somehow scored only one goal. After a 5-0 drubbing of West Ham and a 2-2 draw against Spurs that should have yielded 4+ goals, a hiding is on the cards. The -2 handicap at 2.20 appeals.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal at Anfield is a fixture that screams goals. In Jurgen Klopp’s seven games against Arsenal, there have been 35 goals! Only one of these matches had fewer than four goals. The four games at Anfield have had 20 goals, with the home side notching 15 of them.
Arsenal’s potent attack against Liverpool’s new high line is interesting, which makes over 3.5 goals at 2.10, and over 4.5 goals at 3.50 tempting. We could even see over 5.5 goals at 6.00. Liverpool to score 3+ at 2.25 appeals, while Arsenal at 3.00 to net 2+ largely depends on whether Klopp persists with the high line or is a little more circumspect in the face of Aubameyang and co.
Roberto Firmino loves playing Arsenal and thrives in the spaces that Arsenal often leave. The Brazilian scored a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last season and is 26.00 to repeat the feat. Firmino is 2.20 to score and 7.00 to score 2+.
2 – Back to the Minefield
In the English Football League, it probably pays to look at the sides performing poorly thus far this season. Championship leaders Leeds United travel to a Stoke City side in extremely poor form. An interesting quirk in Stoke’s form shows that they have played out a 2-2 in four of their last five home games. A repeat is 15.00. Over 2.5 goals at 1.90 and over 3.5 goals at 3.40 appeal.
In League 1, bookies don’t appear to be offering odds on Bolton’s game at home to Ipswich. However, Southend United are faring even worse with four straight losses and 10 goals conceded. Therefore, it is a bit surprising to see Wycombe Wanderers at odds of 1.90 to win at home against Southend, and 3.25 on the -1 handicap.
In League 2, Macclesfield Town lost manager Sol Campbell recently but have had a surprisingly good start to the season with two wins in four games. It isn’t easy to predict their home game against bottom side Scunthorpe United. Macclesfield has been tight defensively, but the away side’s last three games have seen 14 goals. While it could be a tight 0-0 or 1-0 game, over 3.5 goals at odds of 3.25 might be worth a risk.
3 – German Oberliga Eyecatchers
There are no odds available yet for the games involving the teams I am about to mention; and sadly, some may not be in-play. However, a few weeks have passed in the German fifth division, so we already know a little about sides likely to do well or poorly this season.
In the Bayern Nord section, Ansbach is a crazy side away from home. They play Ammerthal at 4 pm on Sunday. Ansbach’s four away games in the league this season have seen 26 goals! Their last away game last season finished 4-4! They also love a home goal with a 3-3 draw in the league this season and a 7-4 loss in a cup game!
Buchholz vs. Paloma in the Hamburg section at 1 pm on Sunday also has potential because both teams stink! The combined eight games of the two teams have yielded 39 goals so far this season.
Also, at 1 pm Sunday, we see Wacker Nordhausen take on Askania Bernburg in the Nordost-Nord section. The home side scores plenty of goals on their own patch and enjoyed a 7-0 win last weekend. Their opponents lost 7-0 at home last weekend! The corresponding fixture last season ended 5-3 to Wacker.
1 – Stradivarius wins £1m bonus as Battaash breaks track record at York
Frankie Dettori rode Stradivarius to victory in York's Lonsdale Cup as the seasoned stayer secured a £1m bonus for the second consecutive season.
Stradivarius – a 4-9 favourite – saw off Dee Ex Bee by over a length.
The £1m bonus is awarded to any horse to win one of four races in May – including the Yorkshire Cup – followed by the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup.
2 – Wissahickon out to make winning return for John Gosden in Strensall Stakes
Wissahickon returns to action four months after being soundly beaten by Matterhorn on all-weather finals day and John Gosden is hoping his colt can bounce back in style.
The four-year-old has won eight of his 11 starts but has only his fourth run on turf, but Gosden believes the ground should suit.
3 – The Stats
Referring to our last story, today's stats are all about the trainer John Gosden. He comes to York with an impressive 29% strike rate. He's also showing a 33% strike rate for the last two weeks. His horses are showing a 74% “running to form” and he's got five runners, worthy of a few quid 😉
We'll be back next week with more insights into the footy and the horse's world and let us know what you're backing in the comments 🙂
Patrick & Eddie for the Football Advisor