THE title race resumes in England on Wednesday and I’ve seen suggestions from some people this is where it ends.
Chelsea tackle Everton at home and Man City go to Stoke. If Chelsea win and City lose the gap at the top will be stretched to 10 points and that’s too much to make up against such a good side.
Jose Mourinho’s men are 1-3 with firms such as William Hill and Betfred at home to an Everton side with one win and five draws in their last six. The Toffees have addressed a slump but a lack of firepower is costing them vital points and I’m on Chelsea to bag the points.
Diego Costa serves the final match of his ban so consider Eden Hazard to score at 8-5 with McBookie and BetVictor.
Man City haven’t won a game while Yaya Toure has been at the African Nations and haven’t beaten Stoke away in the Premier League.
They are no bigger than 8-11 at McBookie but I’d rather be on Stoke draw no bet at 29-10 and that’s a possible Super Single. I accept Bojan is a miss for the home side but it’s difficult to go against the h2h here.
Man United are also short at 3-10 with the likes of bet365 and Betfred but should see off a Burnley side with only a win over QPR in their last six.
United haven’t been over impressive in recent weeks but have got the job done and with Burnley having conceded two or more goals in their last six away games I’m taking Man Utd -1 at 10-11 with BetBright as the Super Single – and tonight if United go two up you can be sure I’ll be covering at some point. Robin van Persie is my pick as first scorer at 4-1 with Paddy Power.
Southampton-West Ham looks tough to call but could be one for both to score and that could be the same at West Brom-Swansea.
The other match is an interesting one between Crystal Palace and Newcastle and I can see Alan Pardew putting one over his former assistant John Carver who took the reins when he left for London.
Pardew has already made his mark at Selhurst Park and Palace are worth a look at 7-5 with Betfred and bet365 to pick up another three big points. For a safer punt try Palace draw no bet at 4-6 with Skybet as Newcastle have shown glimpses of form under Carver.
There is one Championship game with Dougie Freedman’s Nottingham Forest 11-10 at bet365 and William Hill to add to Wigan’s woes. I like the look of Forest but they have lost their last three at home so maybe can’t be trusted at the City Ground just yet.
I’ve posted a separate preview on the Partick Thistle v Celtic Scottish Premiership clash and can’t see past the leaders who have won their last seven without conceding.
On the continent we have Parma-Chievo in Serie A and in the Spanish Cup semi-finals it’s Barcelona v Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao v Espanyol.
Barcelona have won their last nine matches – eight of them by scoring three or more goals – but Villarreal’s only defeat in 20 was 3-2 at the Nou Camp recently. If it wasn’t a first leg I’d be on the overs in a flash but it could more cagey than expected.
The home side are extremely short at 1-4 with Betfred but with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all in good scoring form it’s difficult to see past them. Messi is 11-4 at BetVictor and Betfred to score first and I’ll be on.
It’s a night where you take the favourites or take a chance on the likes of Stoke, Palace and maybe even West Ham or Swansea – but I’m sticking with the favourites.
So the Top Treble (fourfold) is Celtic, Man Utd, Chelsea and Barcelona – that pays 2-1 with BetVictor. You could add PSG at home to Nantes in the last 16 of the French Cup to take it up a point. PSG should win but will make changes – the key for me is to back them if Zlatan Ibrahimovic starts as that’s always a statement of intent by the French champs in knockout ties.
Apologies if the tips are quite boring tonight – but I’d rather have a bland winner than a speculative loser. I could have been as adventurous as Lee – but his double is likely to lose while I expected my two tips to wins.
Goals predictions will be added later – need to walk the dug.
The Super Single is in negative for the first time this month after Arsenal -1 was beaten by a second-half Leicester goal. With the Gunners leading 2-0 at the break the cover bet was Leicester to win the second half at 9-2 and well done to anyone who took that – on this occasion I chose not to cover and it was the wrong decision.
5pts Super Single
Man Utd -1 (7.45pm)
3pts Top Treble
(OK it’s a fourfold)
(2-1, BetVictor, Stan James)
1pt Goals treble
Stoke v Man City btts
Southampton v West Ham btts
Crystal Palace v Newcastle over 2.5 goals
(7-1, William Hill, Betfred, BetVictor)
Super Single February record:
9 bets (3 winners, 4 losers, 2 void)
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