Volendam v Maastricht (7pm)

VOLENDAM are most certainly a team on the up. After finishing down in 12th place last season, Hans de Koning was installed as manager and with just two games to go they are top of the table, two points clear of Cambuur in second.

The “Other Orange” have won their last six on the spin and given their superior goal difference need to pick up four points from their remaining two fixtures to all but secure promotion to the top flight of Dutch football.

Clearly they will be highly motivated as if results go their way they could actually win the league tonight. They are quite long odds-on though and their opponents will provide a stern test.

Maastricht are fifth in the table with little to play for. They will likely finish fourth of fifth but only the winners achieve promotion to the Eredivisie and there are no play-offs.

MVV would be challenging for that title if their home form hadn’t fallen off a cliff in the last couple of months – one point from a possible 18 – as their results away from De Geusselt have been superb.

René Trost’s men have lost on the road just once this season and won six of their last eight. They haven’t just been beating the weaker teams in the division either as Cambuur, Sparta Rotterdam and Fortuna Sittard were all taken care of at home by MVV.

Volendam’s price has obviously been influenced by their desire for victory but as the Rolling Stones once sang – You can’t always get what you want. Maastricht have been excelling away from home and I fear the market have underestimated them here.

That’s why, with Volendam trading around the 1.55 mark, I have to make them my lay of the day.

Recommended Bet

Lay Volendam v Maastricht @ 1.55

Milesey (Betfair)

  1. Milesey 11 years ago

    The Bet365 Gold Cup

    Michel le Bon has been lightly raced for one his age but looked as good as ever when winning veterans’ chase in first-time blinkers at Newbury 8 weeks ago. Unpredictable, however, and 9 lb rise looks a bit harsh.

    Hadrian’s Approach is a smart novice chaser who has ran well in defeat since winning on chase debut, placed in the Feltham at Kempton and RSA at Cheltenham last 2 starts. Jumping will be tested around here, though.

    Balthazar King is a front runner who has done well over the Cross Country fences in recent times. Drying ground in his favour and ran well for long way in Grand National. Claims if this doesn’t come too soon.

    Hold on Julio had a good season over fences last term, winning twice around here. Has basically underachieved this campaign, however, his jumping and attitude both looking concerns last time.

    Same Difference is a novice who has taken well to fences this term, showing himself well served by the demands of a big-field handicap when landing Kim Muir at the Festival (visored) last time. Will stay.

    Well Refreshed has been a revelation in first season over fences, landing all 4 of his completed starts in the mud, including Grade 3 handicap at Haydock latest. Drying ground a bit of a concern but still much respected.

    Duke of Lucca won 3 times over fences last season. Even better when placed in good handicaps this term. Disappointed at Aintree last time, however, and others look better handicapped.

    Galaxy Rock’s last win came at Cheltenham in November 2011, and good second to Balthazar King in October. Failed to complete last twice and hard to predict.

    Muirhead is a hold-up performer who had to work hard to land the odds in minor chase at Galway in September. Better form in defeat since, respectable sixth in Irish National last time.

    On Trend has improved since stamina has been drawn out in handicaps, scoring here (3m) in February. Let down by jumping in Kim Muir recently, though, and needs to find more to defy current mark.

    The Rainbow Hunter was successful in 3m handicap chases at Southwell and Ascot earlier this season but never been the most fluent of jumpers and stamina to prove. Unseated on first circuit in Grand National last time.

    Mr Moss took another step forward when registering his second chase win at Stratford (23f) 11 months ago. Ran well when second at Doncaster last time and arrives fresher than most. Can make mistakes.

    Saint Are has a good record at Aintree but found the Kim Muir and Grand National too competitive on last 2 starts, and similar scenario awaits.

    Dover’s Hill made all in 3m handicap here before going well for a long way in this event on soft ground last year. Not seen since but drying ground in his favour.

    Becauseicouldn’tsee is a thorough stayer, but has just 2010 maiden chase win to his name and often fails to complete nowadays. Others preferred.

    Tatenen’s last 2 wins have come over 21f at Ascot. Has had a low-key campaign and fallen in the weights but stamina a big concern and took a heavy fall in the Grand National last time.

    Ikorodu Road has been as good as ever this term, often running well in defeat, but run of form cam to an end last time and likely to find a few too good again.

    Quentin Collonges has often been let down by jumping but back to his very best in first-time tongue tie when making all to beat Mr Moss at Doncaster 8 weeks ago. More required from 8 lb higher but needs considering.

    Away We Go was better than ever when winning handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse in February before excellent ½-length second in Irish National on first start over fences for this yard. Makes plenty of appeal.

    There’s No Panic won a brace of 6-runner novice chases in October and placed in couple of handicaps here earlier this year. Latest run can be forgiven and likely to stay this far, so holds each-way claims. Tongue tied.

    1. Away We Go
    2. Well Refreshed
    3. Quentin Collonges

    VERDICT: A typically competitive renewal of the final big National Hunt race of the season. Well Refreshed has proved a revelation this term and looks likely to run a huge race, but preference is for Irish raider Away We Go, who went close in the Irish National last time and is proven on this type of ground. Quentin Collonges and There’s No Panic are others to consider.


    ( betfair )

  2. Milesey 11 years ago

    The best betting value in Saturday’s early kick-off between Manchester City and West Ham United…

    We’re focusing on action down at the Etihad Stadium – as a disappointed Manchester City side host West Ham United in the north west, looking to take a morale-boosting maximum points.

    The Blues’ fate was finally sealed on Monday night, as rivals Manchester United were named Barclays Premier League Champions for the 20th time – and that will have hit Roberto Mancini’s side hard.

    But the hosts must put that knock behind them as they welcome their East London opponents, and look to secure their 10th win from 11 home outings.

    Mancini will also have one eye on the looming FA Cup Final with Wigan in May – and will be keen for his charges to take some real confidence and momentum into that tie.

    The visitors travel up the M1 in miserable form on the road – and just one win from their last 13 away from Upton Park leaves the Hammers sitting 10th in the division, which is a shame, as their home results are probably deserving of a higher finish.

    Indeed, just one loss from seven on their own patch shows just how Jekyll and Hyde Sam Allardyce’s side have been this campaign – and that is an Achilles heel that the away boss will be keen to correct for next year.

    Manchester City Clean Sheet

    A quick glance at recent results tells no lies – City’s defence has been outstanding in Manchester of late. In fact, Mancini’s side could secure their 10th clean sheet from a dozen home outings in this clash.

    That is testament to the home side’s incredible strength in depth at the back, where Roberto Mancini has been able to call on the likes of Matija Nastasic and Kolo Toure to drop into the heart of defence alongside Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott.

    Add to that the barren attacking form of the visitors, and a clean sheet for the home side looks a real value bet.

    The Hammers have only managed nine goals in their last 16 top-tier clashes with their weekend opponents, and have never notched more than one in that time.

    Misfiring forwards cost West Ham dearly in the reverse fixture of this game earlier in the campaign – and Allardyce’s side didn’t manage a single shot on target that day, giving City keeper Joe Hart one of his easier days at the office.

    I think that there is real value in the 2.06 available on Manchester City to come away from this encounter without a blot on their copybook.

    First Goalscorer

    In any encounter featuring the hosts, there’s never a shortage of viable options for first goalscorer. Carlos Tevez is probably the obvious choice at the moment – and the Argentinian is certainly in something of a purple patch having gotten the ball rolling in his last three appearances, and notched five in his last seven on home turf.

    He is priced at a short 4.2 to break the deadlock, with only his fellow countryman Sergio Aguero getting more attention from punters, at 4.1.

    Samir Nasri is available at a much more reasonable 8.0 – and with two goals in his last three games, could be worth a back to notch from deep.

    The visitors’ Andy Carroll will be full of confidence ahead of this clash – and having bagged four times in the past, the big Geordie has scored more goals against the Blues than any other Premier League opponent.

    If you fancy him to be first on the scoresheet, he’s 14.0 to do so – and that’s not bad value at all, as, if the away side are to offer any threat in the final third, the likelihood is that it will come through Carroll.

    Manchester City Half Time/Full Time

    I reckon that the dethroned champions will be desperate to put in a positive performance in this game – and I expect them to come flying out of the traps right from kick off.

    A bet on the Blues to be winning at both half time and full time would’ve paid out in nine of their last 14 home wins, and with the likelihood being that West Ham will set up to defend in this clash, the home side will have plenty of space to play in front of their rearguard.

    West Ham have struggled defensively of late – and have kept just two clean sheets in 10 on the road. Of the last 11 games where they have conceded away from home, they have shipped at least one goal in the first half on nine occasions.

    Odds for Mancini’s side to go in happy after both 45 and 90 mins are a reasonable 1.84 – and that’s decent value considering that the visitors are unlikely to offer much threat in the final third.

    Recommended Bets

    Manchester City Clean Sheet @ 2.06
    Samir Nasri First Goalscorer @ 8.0
    Manchester City HT/FT @ 1.84


    ( betfair )

  3. Milesey 11 years ago

    Peterborough v Sheffield Wednesday
    Saturday 17:20, Live on Sky Sports 2

    After Friday night’s action at the top of the table, attention switches to the relegation battle in the second televised Championship game of the weekend as Posh host fellow strugglers Wednesday.


    Having looked relegation material for much of the season, Darren Ferguson’s side find themselves out of the bottom three on goal difference with two games remaining. By the time we kick off here, though, both Wolves and Barnsley, who also have 51 points, could have climbed above them. Posh are unbeaten in five at London Road now, including wins over both Cardiff and Watford, though they still have the worst home record over the course of the season. Backing over 2.5 goals was previously pretty much a given in games involving Posh but having not had a goalless draw for more than three years until last month, like a London bus, three have recently arrived in quick succession.

    Sheffield Wednesday

    A run of just one defeat in seven means Wednesday now have 55 points, four more than today’s opponents, Wolves and Barnsley and a win here would guarantee their safety while a point would go a long way towards doing so. They could still lose their last two and be okay depending on other results. Leroy Lita’s arrival on loan in January has gone a long way to solving their goalscoring problem and he has struck six times in his 12 starts. Dave Jones’ men have been solid on their travels this season, conceding just 25 goals, fewer than everybody in the league bar Charlton.

    Under/Over 2.5 Goals

    Wednesday are solid enough at the back while Posh are not quite the same free-scoring, defensively-loose side they were earlier in the season. This is sure to be a tense affair and the visitors will be more than happy with a point, which makes under 2.5 goals an attractive bet at 2.0.

    Correct Score

    The visitors have shown an admirable appetite to scrap for their boss Jones. It’s not pretty on the eye but survival in the first season back in the second tier would be seen as a good achievement and a draw here would all but ensure that. A small play on 1-1 at 7.4 is advised.

    Recommended Bets
    Back under 2.5 Goals at 2.0
    Back 1-1 correct score at 7.4


  4. Milesey 11 years ago


    River Plate v Quilmes AC
    River Plate have had a little wobble, but Lanús’s spate of draws and Newell’s battling on both fronts has allowed them back in to the title race.

    Just two points off the joint-leaders, Ramón Diaz’s men are most certainly in with a shout, and can consider themselves lucky that their notoriously fruitful academy has chucked another gem off the conveyor belt.

    An enormous list of injuries, and long-term ones at that, in defence had threatened to derail River’s season but instead it could end in another financial boost for the club.

    Centre-back Éder Balanta is just 20 but plays with a maturity far beyond his years. The Colombian is also an incredible physical specimen; fit, strong and quick off the mark, enabling him to deal with virtually everything the Argentine Primera has to throw at him.

    Two man of the match performances in just three starts for the club speaks volumes about how key he has been, and is especially impressive when you consider that River’s defensive shield – and Argentine international midfielder – Leonardo Ponzio has been out injured too.

    Quilmes, their visitors this week, have had injury problems of their own. Long-term absentee Miguel Caneo was their key playmaker last season, but despite being welcomed back recently after a lengthly spell on the sidelines, he has quickly experienced a recurrence of his injury and won’t feature this weekend.

    Martin Cauteruccio’s goals still manage to keep the Brewers in contention but a dip in form has seen them slink into mid-table and a respectable position and adding to their total in the average points (relegation) table is what yo-yoing Quilmes must now focus on.

    The visitors will have been disappointed to see River exit the Copa Argentina in embarrassing circumstances in midweek, and they now must face a slightly angered giant, keen to reassert their dominance on the pitch and push the top two.

    Match odds

    River are understandable odds-on favourites based on form and the wealth of talent at their disposal, while Quilmes would undoubtedly be content with a point.

    This weekend more than others it is worth considering what effect future fixtures will have on the game. Sometimes cited as a weakness, it is very much up for debate how much impact the looming Superclasico will have on players.

    On one hand, all River players will be concerned about getting injured ahead of the big game at La Bombonera next weekend? but at the same time, it is important to put in a performance if you want to be starting in the biggest game of the year – and for this game we are not foreseeing it as an issue.

    Therefore, we are backing River at 1.84.


    Quilmes’ games have one of the highest goal averages in the league, with 2.9 goals per game and seven of their matches going over 2.5.

    River have been more unpredictable, with their games averaging 2.2, but the price of 2.42 for over 2.5 goals seems to suggest this game is a cut and dried low-scorer.

    The stats don’t agree and therefore the value lies in the overs.

    Other bets

    River’s lineup for this game looks very impressive, and with Quilmes missing some key names you have to be backing the hosts, but there is also half an eye on Draw/River in the HT/FT market.

    The Millionarios have led at half time in just one of their last six, so 4.7 for them to overcome a stalemate at the break and take all three points looks like value.

    Recommended Bets
    Recommended bet: Back River to win @ 1.84


  5. Milesey 11 years ago


    Kidderminster Harriers v Wrexham
    BSBP Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd leg, Sunday April 28, KO 13:30
    Live On Premier Sports
    Wrexham hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg at The Racecourse Ground in midweek. It’s fair to say that Kidderminster were poor on the night and the Welsh side deserved their one goal advantage at the final whistle.

    It’s only half-time in the tie though and I don’t think Steve Burr’s side can be as bad again. That may sound harsh, but their passing was off track on the night and we didn’t see any of the fluid football that propelled them to an incredible 25 wins in their last 29 regular season matches. They did have spells in the second half in which they were clearly on top, but overall they didn’t do enough to bring Wrexham back to Aggborough on at least level terms.

    Wrexham boss Andy Morrell will feel that an end of season dip in form was justified to restore his ‘starting XI’ to something near his first choice as the playoffs got underway. Their usual battling midfield display broke up Kidderminster’s normal game. The Red Dragons will have exerted a lot of energy in that midweek effort and it could be argued that Kidderminster’s younger legs might recover a bit quicker for Sunday.

    A note of caution should be given with Kidderminster’s home record against their fellow top ten in the division. Nine matches have produced just four wins, although one of those was a 2-0 success against Wrexham at the end of last year. The first leg was the first time in 11 games that Kidderminster had scored less than two goals in a fixture. I expect them to get that stat back on track here and go through to the Wembley final. Wrexham’s away record against the better sides in the Blue Square Bet Premier reads as two away wins against their fellow top 12 teams. They failed to score in seven of those games and I expect them to also draw a blank here.

    Recommended Bet
    Back Kidderminster Harriers at 1.8


    Newport County v Grimsby Town
    BSBP Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd leg, Sunday April 28, KO 16:30
    Live On Premier Sports
    Newport County boss Justin Edinburgh was sensible to suggest that his side have only done half the job with their 1-0 success at Blundell Park in the first leg. A late own-goal from Ian Miller means that County kick-off at their Rodney Parade home a goal to the good on Sunday.

    In the ten previous years of these Conference playoffs a one-goal away lead has been achieved twice in 20 semi-final first legs. BOTH times the deficit was overturned by the away side in the second game for them to progress to the final.

    It’s not likely to be as straightforward as that simple stat for Grimsby to get back in this tie. Nine of the previous 20 semi-finals required extra-time or a penalty shoot-out to separate the sides. Watching the low-scoring first leg it was obvious that a mistake or freak own goal was probably going to settle it and there were very few clear-cut opportunities in the 90 minutes.

    The dilemma on whether to stick or twist could catch Newport in two minds and that may play into Grimsby’s hands. A large number of their games in the regular season were achieved without conceding a goal and they have the patience to get back into this tie. Newport have failed to score in nearly a quarter of their home matches and have thrown in the odd abysmal performance in front of their own fans. A 5-0 defeat against Forest Green Rovers was the low point of a bad run in the middle of the campaign.

    Grimsby’s away games are usually low-scoring affairs, with just 2.04 goals per game in their 23 regular season matches on the road. They are unbeaten in their last six away matches and they can sneak this game by a 1-0 scoreline to send us into extra-time.

    Recommended Bet
    Back Grimsby Town at 3.1


    ( betfair )

  6. Milesey 11 years ago


    Back Castleford Tigers to beat Salford City Reds at 2.65

    Saturday’s Super League encounter at the Salford City Stadium is a basement battle between two teams who’ve managed just four wins between them in twenty-four games. Salford are currently bottom, with Castleford one place above them.

    Caretaker coach Danny Orr has been in charge of Tigers for just two weeks, but the departure of Ian Millward does not seem to have had a negative effect. Castleford secured a win over Widnes in Orr’s first Super League game, before going out of the Challenge Cup to Leeds last weekend.

    They also expect to have star player Rangi Chase available, despite speculation that he is poised to move to an NRL side. Statistically, Castleford do have the edge this season. In terms of tries, goals and metres gained, they are ahead of Salford, and I think they can edge this one.


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