IT was a great night on the football for everyone concerned and well done to everyone who tipped a winner and all those who beat the bookies.
I landed a welcome full house thanks to the Super Single Southampton at 20-23 – although I noticed it went out to evens – a Top Treble of Sevilla, Braga and over 2.5 goals at Torino at 7-2 and a 21-5 goals treble that started with under 2.5 at Monaco and ended with over 2.5 at Sevilla.
It was a good team effort and from my own perspective hard work paid off as I spent a few hours researching the foreign games in the morning.
After a leaner spell than I would have liked on the Super Singles I could have had three on the one night with Bradford and Lazio my second and third choices. But the January loss has almost been wiped out and one winner will return me to profit.
There’s not much to look at on Thursday but for we have quality as opposed to quantity with the top three in La Liga all in Cope del Rey action.
The big one is of course Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid as the home men try to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.
Atletico played well last week but were poor as they suffered a 3-1 loss to Barcelona in the Nou Camp on Sunday – and the defeat could have been much heavier.
Atletico keeper Miguel Angel Moya says the side are relishing the chance to put the Nou Camp loss behind them and are motivated to do well. Sunday’s reverse dropped Atletico to third in La Liga standings, four points adrift of league leaders Real who have a game in hand.
Cup holders Real bounced back from the derby defeat to see off Espanyol 3-0 on Saturday and are likely to restore Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to the starting line-up after he was rested in the Vicente Calderon. Ronaldo is 10-3 with McBookie and BetVictor to celebrate his award with the first goal and 5-6 to bet at any time.
Real are a best 8-13 at Betfred to win on the night and 11-4 at 888sport to qualify and that would be quite an achievement.
I don’t think anyone will want to give up this tie easily but with home advantage and Ronaldo back I expect Real to win and give qualifications a go. This could lead to an open game and over 2.5 goals has a chance at 8-11 with Skybet.
At the end of the day Real must score at least two to have a chance – 2-0 will force extra time and remember away goals count double so if Atletico score their rivals will need four and that puts me off backing Real to qualify.
However, I reckon they’ll win on the night and to net two plus they are 1-2 at Coral.
Barcelona have a 5-0 advantage over Elche going into the second leg of their tie and coach Luis Enrique will rest his regular players at the Martinez Valero stadium. The stand-ins should be good enough to win but Barca are no bigger than 2-7 at William Hill and I’d be careful with the handicaps.
Barca -1 could be the call at 8-13 with Ladbrokes and bet365 but it’s clear they’re putting out the youngsters.
Juventus square off against Verona in Turin in the Italian Cup and are a best 2-9 at William Hill. Again Juve will rest players such as Carlos Tevez and Andrea Pirlo but Verona are unlikely to be at full strength with Luca Toni one of those being left ahead of the Sunday’s league meeting between the sides back in Turin.
For me 2-9 is too short to take Juve unless team lines reveal a stronger than expected starting side.
There is also a friendly international between Sweden and Ivory Coast in Abu Dhabi and that might be worth a look once firm team news is revealed with the Ivory Coast warming up for next week’s Africa Cup of Nations.
We know the Swedish squad is fairly weak with players from the domestic league and Denmark. On paper the Africans are stronger but much will be depend on their attitude and whether they treat it like a training match or if there are players trying to impress the manager before the start of the tournament next week.
After much thought I’ve decided to split the Super Single into two bets – Real and Barcelona to win being the first. It pays just over evens at William Hill (2.02) and I’m happy to chance it.
The second one is Ivory Coast to win but while I’m putting this up now I’d advise anyone interested to check the starting line-ups.
2.5pts Super Single
Real Madrid (7pm)
(1-1, William Hill)
2.5pts Super Single
Ivory Coast (5.30pm)
(10-11, Paddy Power)
Super Single 2015 record: 12 bets
(4 winners, 6 losers, 2 void)
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