26.1.2008. +15.74 units
Liverpool Havant & Waterloovile OVER 3.5 (1.60 @Gamebookers) 8 units
We should see plenty of goals in this bizarre FA Cup fixture regardless of the Liverpool team for this match. I'll be cheering for Havant of course, but after all the surprises they did in the FA Cup this season, I really doubt they can pull off another shock and lose by only two or three goals (that would be the biggest success in their history by far). Liverpool should score at least five or six here, but we could see a lot more. Havant will be without their very important defenders Poate and Gregory, and also midfielder Hart, due to suspensions, but does it even matter who will play for Havant? It's Liverpool, one of the biggest clubs in the world! They trashed Luton 5:0 in the last round of the FA Cup and Havant are much, much less professional team than Luton. Havant play in Conference South that's the 6th league. Do I really have to write about Liverpool? It's Liverpool! OVER 3.5? I'd bet on OVER 6.5 at least for a unit or two...
(1.60 also at Victor Chandler and PartyBets, 1.57 at StanJames and BetDirect, 1.55 at Bet365 and Canbet... OVER 3.75 is 1.70 at Pinnacle and 1.68 at 10Bet...)
Eastbourne Basingstoke 1 (1.73 @StanJames) 6 units
Eastbourne are great at home not just lately, but all season. They have 6-4-1, they conceded only 7 goals in 11 matches they lost only to league leaders Lewes, but that was less than a month after an incredible 7:2 win against the very same Lewes in Setanta Shield Cup and only a couple of days after a league draw (2:2) away at Lewes. The very important thing are the opponents they only managed to share points with at home Bishop's Stortford, Havant, Newport and Hampton, all very strong teams and promotion candidates. They managed to beat 17th Maidenhead, 11th Braintree, 19th Welling, 22nd Sutton, 13th Thurrock and 20th Dorchester. They played more matches away from home and they are the only still unbeatable team (8-4-0 away). They're currently second, but they played two matches less and have exactly six points less than leaders Lewes. I saw a couple of their match highlights this season and they always looked very dangerous going forward, creating a bunch of chances, but also very solid and disciplined in the defence. They have no suspension problems this time, Smart and Ramsay are back in the team after being out injured for quite some time and their best scorer Atkin is in fine form he scored three goals in last five matches. Budd scored two goals in last two matches too. This should be their third win in a row, after beating Maidenhead 2:1 away and trashing Dorchester 4:1 at home this Tuesday (they scored four goals AND hit the post twice).
Basinsgtoke are currently 5th, but I'd love to bet on them not to finish in the play-off zone at the end of the season (if I could). They collected their points against strugglers and mid-table teams and, this season in Conference South, that's obviously enough for being in the play-off zone at the end of January. You should know though that they played the most matches in the league (Newport and Havant, for example, played as many as five matches less than Basingstoke). Away from home, Basingstoke are nothing to be afraid of. They have 4-5-5 (goal-difference 15:22) and they lost at all the serious promotion candidates (Fisher, Newport, Bromley, Lewes). In fact, their only away shock-result was a 1:0 win an Bath City unfortunately, we were there to bet on Bath City and that away win was a shock result of the week. After two wins against strugglers (3:2 at home vs 18th Bognor, 2:1 away at 17th Maidenhead), they're probably quite relaxed and satisfied with their recent results and table position. They will be without two standard players due to suspensions big and strong defender Whisken and very important midfielder Surey who played in 24 out of last 25 league matches and captain & central midfielder Laidler is out injured. Very nice odds.
(1.73 also at Stanleybet and Blue Square, 1.70 at Sportingbet, Betway and Bet-at-home...)
CONF SOUTH/RYMAN DOUBLE: Welling Lewes 2 @1.65 & Leyton Maidstone 2 @1.60 (2.64 @Bwin) 4 units
After a dissapointed 1:2 home defeat to high-flyers Hampton & Richmond last Saturday (their captain Robinson got sent off, but he will be able to play in this match), Lewes will be dying to get back on track they're league leaders, but they played two matches more and have only six point more than 2nd Eastbourne. In fact, they already did bounce back they won 2:1 at Horsham in the Sussex Cup this Tuesday. Lewes' manager signed a couple of new players talented young winger Cox from Luton and striker Barr who scored 14 goals in 18 matches for Tonbridge this season. Another striker Sigere is finally fit too he was out injured all season, then loaned to Horsham where he scored a couple of important goals, and now he's back and fired up to go. But, Lewes could even do without all of them Conference South's leading scorer Booth scored 15 goals in the last 15 matches (all together, he already scored 28 goals in all competitions this season!), Drury scored four in the last five and Wormull scored three in the last five matches. Before that 1:2 defeat to Hampton, they had three handicap wins in a row (4:0 at home vs FA Cup heroes Havant, 2:0 away at direct rivals, 2nd Eastbourne, 4:0 at home vs 5th Basingstoke). Lewes are also the best away team in the league (9-1-2, goal-difference 29:13) they already managed to take all three points at Havant, Bishop's Stortford, Bromley, Fisher, Eastbourne, to mention just a few. They lost at Eastleigh in October and, surprisingly, at Hayes, month and a half ago, but after that they went on a great run they won two away matches at promotion candidates, then shared points at home with 2nd Eastbourne and then won three matches without conceding a goal (and scoring ten). After their first home defeat this season (1:2 to Hampton last Saturday), it's time for them to show who owns this league, at least this season.
Welling aren't the worst home team in the league, but they're one of the worst (3-4-6). They played their last match three weeks ago some players joined, some players left, some are suspended no big deal. They won their last match almost three months ago (against on/off Bromley) and in the last eight matches, they have five defeats and three draws. They lost to 17th Maidenhead, 5th Basingstoke, 8th Fisher (twice) and 3rd Hampton, and managed to share points with 18th Bognor Regis, 22nd Sutton and 13th Thurrock. They have two defeats in a row their last match was a 0:4 defeat at Hampton. That's not all they're still without a manager and could have serious forward problems for this match. Quote from the fans' forum: ''... Just spoken to Lloyd after seeing him leaving the ground today and he confirmed he had just negotiated his release from the club to take up an offer from his hometown club , he mentioned Ryman League Folkestone (that's been confirmed in the meantime, Lloyd Blackman left). I asked if he had any idea who our new manager would be, which he said he didnt...Also heard that Omari (Coleman) and Remy may be struggling for the weekend so we may need to find a forward or 2 before Saturday...''.
Leyton, 'the oldest club in London' obviously keep on going down down down they still look like Slough from last season in Ryman Premier League. They're rock bottom, 22nd, 4-3-20, goal-difference 28:69. At home, they have 2-2-9 (15:38), but those wins happened a long time ago. Leyton now have ten defeats in a row and their goal-difference in those ten matches is 6:35. Yes. 35 goals conceded. All the best players left, they have a very young improvised squad and even though they tried really hard to leave a good impression at league leaders Chelmsford, they lost in the end (only 1:2, Chelmsford had a player sent off). This Tuesday, they lost 0:4 at home to 18th Tonbridge who lost a couple of important players recently. Infront of the 'crowd' of 60 people. Not much of an atmosphere there...
Maidstone are currently 12th. They were awful away from home at the start of the season, but everything changes after six straight defeats away from home, they managed to win four and lose only two away matches. They won at 13th Ashford, 7th Margate, 9th Horsham and 14th Boreham Wood and lost only at 16th Heybridge and 11th Carshalton two teams that are having a nice reinassance lately. They lost 0:1 at home to Billericay last Saturday, but Billericay are also having a nice little reinassance and Maidstone were playing without their recent signing, midfielder Hagan who was great in the match before, when they won away at Boreham Wood. Hagan will play in this match and Maidstone also have a class player in Takaloo upfront. I just watched three match highlights from their last three home matches they were great against East Thurrock (won 3:1), surprisingly dangerous against Wimbledon (lost 1:2, but hit the bar twice, penalty against them was very harsh and sending off one of Maidstone's players were even harsher) and very unlucky against Billericay (lost 0:1, but very unlucky, they could've scored not just one, but a few goals). Very nice odds for this double.
(2.50 at Gamebookers, 2.47 at Skybet, 2.40 at StanJames, 2.32 at Sportingbet, 2.31 at Bet-at-home...)
FT 0:4 / 0:1
Kendal Ossett 1 (2.38 @StanJames) 2 units
Kendal are currently 18th, just outside the relegation zone, but they finally started playing some football and fighting for points. They have 2-5-4 at home (goal-difference 14:18), but their chances here are much better than the odds suggest. They lost 1:2 at Ossett a month ago, but it was their only defeat in December (2:2 at home vs 13th Ashton, 3:1 at home vs 20th Lincoln, 1:1 at home vs 6th Eastwood). In January, they have a brave 1:1 draw at home vs 2nd Fleetwood and a spectacular 3:2 win away at 17th Ilkeston. They had a defender on goal for the most of the match, but he was incredible saved a penalty and a bunch of other shots. He was so good that the home crowd had to applaud him at the end. At Ossett, they could've even won the match, but conceded two late goals and lost all points. They brought in a couple of new players and I really think they could win this match. Let's hope it's not going to be another draw.
Ossett are currently 10th, they have 5-0-7 away from home (goal-difference 16:18), but they're not in good form. They lost their last three matches all away from home (1:2 at 16th North Ferriby, 2:3 at 9th Stamford, 1:3 at 5th Buxton). Before that, they managed to beat 12th Whitby at home, but before that, they even lost a home match to poor, bottom of the table Frickley. They are missing a lot of defenders for this match Cotterhill and Meadowcroft left the club (midfielder Pugh left too) and Denton is suspended.
(2.40 at Primebet, 2.38 at Gamebookers, Bet365 and PartyBets, 2.35 at Stanleybet, Bwin and Bet-at-home... 1.71 currently at Pinnacle for DNB...)
Hemel Hempstead Bromsgrove X2 (2.00 @Bet-at-home) 2 units
Incredible odds for Hemel not to win. I already wrote about Hemel being a lousy team at home (3-4-4) they're currently 4th, but they played five (!) matches more and have only four points more than 6th Bashley. Let's take a look at their last few matches, played in the last month and a half, shall we? 2:3 home defeat to 8th Banbury, 0:0 home draw vs 14th Merthyr, 1:2 home defeat to 11th Yate, 1:1 home draw vs 6th Bashley, 2:2 away draw at leaders King's Lynn, 0:1 away defeat at 19th Cirencester, 4:2 home win over leaders King's Lynn, 4:0 away win at 22nd Cheshunt. Okay, the last two matches were nice wins, but the match against King's Lynn is always a big derby and Cheshunt are really poor at the moment bottom of the table by far. They will be without three suspended players (midfielder Burgess, striker Sozzo and defender Yeboah) and four players left the club at the beginning of January (just two new players joined them in the meantime). Suspended duo Burgess and Sozzo scored 16 goals together this season and practically the only player Bromsgrove have to look out for is their best scorer Roberts.
Bromsgrove's temporary manager Darby is doing a fine job there he suffered just one league defeat since he took the reigns in December. Let's take a look at their matches in the last month. 1:0 home win over 2nd Halesowen, 2:2 away draw at 11th Yate, 3:1 home win over 21st Hitchin, 1:1 home draw vs 14th Merthry and, finally, 2:2 away draw at 5th Chippenham. Their striker Jakab will be missed as he goes on a vacation in Hungary, but they just brought in another striker Cornes from Telford the guy started his career at mighty Wolverhampton, but was positive on cocaine when he was just about to get into their first team. Pressure, I guess. Another new signing is former West Brom centre-back Burgess who joined them from Nuneaton and experienced mifielder Benbow is finally fit. Bromsgrove are currently 15th, but those five matches without a defeat say a lot too. Away from home, Bromsgrove have 4-2-7. Doesn't look very good, but Bromsgrove had an awful start of the season they're doing very good now and they almost took all three points at Chippenham. The match ended 2:2, but Chippenham are a much better home team than Hemel. 2.00 for a win-win-lose situation like this? Of course.
(2.00 also at Paddy Power, 1.84 at Stanleybet, 1.93 for (+0.75) at Pinnacle also sounds great, but you can improvize this X2 yourself Skybet and Bet365 offer gigantic 4.50 for an away win and you can find 3.60 for a draw anywhere...)