I WENT with a stats-packed Super Single on Sunday and it came up trumps. Anderlecht had beaten Lierse by more than two goals in five of their last seven meetings – the other were 2-0 – so I was pleased to see a 3-0 scoreline.
Anderlecht -2 paid 7-5 and while on this occasion cover wasn’t required I gave up £2 of my winnings to back 10-man Lierse at 25-1 to score next with about seven minutes to go.
Apologies for not putting points ratings on the top tips on Sunday but when not stated it’s the usual 5pts Super Single, 2.5pts Top Treble and 1pt any other bet. Regulars will know that and it’s been a while since a Super Single wasn’t a five-pointer.
The Top Treble also won at 3-1 thanks to Sevilla, Marseille and Barcelona -1 but the goal treble fell at the first hurdle with Lazio failing to score at home to Napoli.
Overall it was a great day for punters with short-priced favourites such as Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Juventus, PSG, Benfica and Sporting all winning by at least two goals.
For today’s Super Single I’m paying my first visit to the Africa Cup of Nations and I’m putting this selection up now in case the price drops below evens – and at the moment William Hill are the only firm to even offer evens.
The side I’m talking about are Algeria who are one of the favourites for the tournament as they launch their campaign against South Africa in Group C.
It’s regarded as the toughest section with Ghana and Senegal facing off in the other opener so Algeria will be targeting a win against the weakest team in the group.
We all watched Algeria impress in the World Cup, going out to Germany in the last 16 after taking them to extra time. Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), Yacine Brahimi (Porto), El Arbi Hillel Soudani (Zagreb), Islam Slimani (Sporting) and Saphir Taider (Sassuolo) are all class acts but they are missing the injured Essaïd Belkalem (Trabzonspor).
Algeria won the first five games in qualifying before losing to Mali having already progressed so they have maintained their form since Brazil.
South Africa don’t have any big stars and of course didn’t make it to Brazil but they are on a 11-match unbeaten run having cruised through a group containing Nigeria, Congo and Sudan.
Shakes Mashaba has picked mostly players from the South African Premier League but has striker Tokelo Rantie from Bournemouth and defender Anele Ngcongca of Genk.
If Algeria can get off the mark quick they should win this well – and I was genuinely surprised by the even-money offer.
Ghana v Senegal promises to be close fought and with so match at stake for both sides this opener could well end in a draw.
The big game on Monday is Everton v West Brom and it’s not an easy one to call but having looked at it more closely I don’t believe the Baggies will lose and West Brom draw no bet is a decent price at 27-10 with McBookie and BetVictor.
Everton haven’t won in seven but have drawn their last three over 90 minutes 1-1 – including two FA Cup ties with West Ham. Sylvain Distin and keeper Tim Howard are still out and stand-in goalie Joel Robles has yet to keep a clean sheet in six appearances.
James McCarthy, Aiden McGeady, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar and Darron Gibson are also missing and with Tony Pulis making a fine start at West Brom and Saido Berahino in superb scoring form I can’t back the home win.
I’ve looked at various lower-league matches across the Continent and for me nothing stands out – so there could be a few draws. I’m suggesting a low-stakes Trixie on WBA draw no bet, Perugia draw no bet at Bologna and both to score at Ghana v Senegal.
In Serie B Bologna have won of their last seven while Perugia have drawn eight out of 12. Ghana-Senegal is also being tipped in various places as a draw because neither can afford to lose with Algeria up next – and 1-1 has a nice feel about it after three 1-1 draws in the first four games of the tournament.
There is one game in the FA Trophy as Gateshead and Grimsby replay and again it will be tight. It was 0-0 in the first game and in 12 meetings between the two Grimsby have lost just two.
I’ve saw tips for Nancy at home to Orleans in Ligue 2 but Nancy have lost their last five league games so I’d be slightly concerned by that run.
5pts Super Single
(1-1, William Hill)
West Brom dnb (8pm)
Perugia dnb (7.30pm)
Ghana v Senegal btts (4pm)
Perm any 2 and all 3 (4 bets)
Treble pays 24-1, McBookie, BetVictor
Super Single 2015 record: 15 bets
(5 winners, 8 losers, 3 void)
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