ARMCHAIR footie fans have been treated to three classic English matches in the past week.
Too often big games from south of the border are more Snooze Factor than X Factor but that all changed when Spurs and Leicester fought out a 2-2 FA Cup thriller.
That was followed by Newcastle 3, Man United 3 and bettered by Liverpool 3, Arsenal 3.
Not only were all score draws – they all featured last-minut equalisers. This weekend’s big live TV showdown is Liverpool v Man United on Sunday and let’s hope we see the exciting side of Louis van Gaal’s side even though the Dutch boss wasn’t entertained after dropping two points at the death.
What was clear from the midweek matches was Liverpool and United are struggling to defend. It’s not an easy match to call so I’m taking another score draw at 11-5 with bet365 and a goal in the final 15 minutes pays 6-5 at sportingbet.
Today I have to be tempted by Leicester at 5-4 with McBookie at Aston Villa. Well done to Remi Garde for finally notching a victory against Crystal Palace but by all accounts their visitors were poor.
Leicester have overcome their dip and remain on course for a Champions League spot after a superb win at Spurs on Wednesday. With Jamie Vardy maybe not 100 per cent after groin surgery I’d take Riyad Mahrez at 6-1 with bet365 to score first.
Man City and Chelsea dropped home points in midweek so can’t be trusted at short prices against Palace and Everton respectively.
Spurs face a Sunderland side lifted by Jermain Defoe’s hat-trick in their 4-2 win at Swansea. Can Defoe net on his return to White Hart Lane – he is 4-1 at Paddy Power.
As good as Newcastle were against Man Utd it seems they raise their game against better teams so West Ham, who like a different side with Dimitri Payet back, are worth a look at 2-1 with McBookie and bet365.
Bolton may be the bottom of the Championship but they’re not the worst team at the moment. That dubious honour goes to Charlton who have lost four of their last five.
Last weekend they crashed out of the FA Cup at League One Colchester and followed up with a 5-0 midweek defeat at Huddersfield.
That sparked the departure of interim coach Karel Fraeye and Jose Riga has returned to the troubled cluband may be shocked at the mess he finds.
Today Charlton visit second-placed Hull and I expect Steve Bruce’s men to be the first name on many accumulators. They are 4-11 at William Hill and Betfred and also worth backing is Hull -1 at evens with Paddy Power although I suppose we should be wary of new manager syndrome.
Leaders Middlesbrough should make it five wins in a row at Bristol City at 1-1 with Stan James.
Sheffield Utd showed no tiredness after their injury-time loss at Old Trafford by fighting back from 3-0 to draw at Wigan in midweek. They look good at 21-20 with Ladbrokes at Colchester.
And in League Two back Northampton to make it five wins in six at Dagenham. Best price is evens at Skybet.
Bets to Consider
Liverpool v Man Utd btts (Sun)
Defoe to score