IT was a tricky start to the New Year and that was to be expected as games come thick and fast.
I’d advise caution and low stakes until the schedule returns to normal. There wasn’t a lot of damage done for me with the Burnley’s thrilling draw at Newcastle returning the stake for the Super Single and a small wager on Steven Gerrard to score first covering my other losers including the Top Treble.
On my English betting preview I tipped Gerrard at 15-2 against Leicester and it was apt he hit the target on the day it was confirmed he’d leave Liverpool at the end of the season with LA Galaxy his likely destination.
Whether you’re a Liverpool fan or not you can’t deny he’s been a fine servant for the club and one of the Premier League’s best performers over the years – and as a lethal penalty taker he’s always worth a scorer bet at a decent price.
Friday sees the start of the FA Cup ties with Cardiff taking on Colchester and MK Dons entertaining Chesterfield. I said last night team news was crucial before backing anything in these games and both the favourites are putting out weakened line-ups.
As expected MK Dons boss Karl Robinson has made five changes to the side that lost 3-0 to Walsall on Sunday. He has in fact named his line-up with Dele Alli rested and ex-Chesterfield man Mark Randall replacing him.
Antony Kay is also given a break so George Baldock will start at right-back and Jordan Spence at centre-half alongside Kyle McFadzean. Benik Afobe will start in place of Will Grigg as part of the Dons’ usual rotation up front while Danny Green and Daniel Powell will replace Samir Carruthers and Carl Baker on the wings.
Sam Morsy could return for Chesterfield after a three-match ban but there are doubts over Jimmy Ryan and Armand Gnanduillet.
Chesterfield were 1-0 winners of the original tie on December 6 but the FA ordered a replay after they fielded an ineligible player in on-loan Wolves centre-half Georg Margreitter.
There is no doubt promotion from League One is Robinson’s priority and I’d be worried about backing them at 4-5. For me the game’s a no bet but if pushed I’d go with 12-5 with bet365 and William Hill. Bet365 are a biggest 18-5 just to win.
Cardiff are in a bit of a crisis after five matches without a win but Russell Slade’s side have been scoring with eight in their last four. A cup win would relieve some of the pressure on Slade and despite the team news I think he’ll get it against a young Colchester side struggling at the wrong end of League One.
Colchester have kept three clean sheets in their last six but conceded 12 in their other three and I’m taking a chance on over 2.5 goals in the game.
Bruno Manga is set to make his final Bluebirds appearance before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations but David Marshall, Peter Whittingham, Sean Morrison, Adam Le Fondre and Craig Noone are all expected to be rested for a match that is being shown live on BBC Wales and will attract a small crowd.
Colchester defender Ben Gordon is an injury doubt and striker Rhys Healey is ineligible as he is on loan from Cardiff. Boss Tony Humes is also without Magnus Okuonghae and Drey Wright.
Again I have to express caution with Cardiff at a biggest 4-7 with the likes of bet365 and BetVictor but I can see goals and over 2.5 goals pays 4-6 at Ladbrokes.
In Portugal there is one match between Belenenses and Academica and I’ll have had a look at that plus Prestatyn v Rhyl and Bangor v Bala before putting up top tips in the morning.
Bad jasper has tipped a narrow Bala win while having read that 18 of 19 Prestatyn games have gone over 2.5 goals I’m backing that in a double with the Cardiff-Colchester contest.
I’ll put it up as the Super Single even if it’s a double – but you can call it what you want as long as it makes money.
Remember also to check our friends at We Love Betting for more tips and video chat.
Cardiff v Colchester over 2.5 goals (7.45pm)
Prestatyn v Rhyl over 2.5 goals (7.30pm)
(6-4, Paddy Power, bet365)
Super Single 2015 record: 1 Bet – 1 void.