Saturday, 6 February 2016

Weekend Football Picks 2016 (February 6-7)

The big story coming into the weekend football in the Premier League is the top of the table clash in the Premier League to open this round of fixtures as Manchester City host Leicester City.

There is no doubting this is the acid test for Leicester City who go to The Etihad Stadium this weekend and then visit The Emirates Stadium next weekend as to whether they can sustain a Premier League title challenge. If Leicester City can pick up four points from their next two games, Leicester City might actually be heading into the final round of fixtures in February as the favourite to win the title, something I could not have imagined at the beginning of the season.

The last game of the weekend might have been expected to have much bigger consequences than what we have when Chelsea play Manchester United. However there are renewed reports that Jose Mourinho has been asked to take over at Old Trafford this summer and that should cast a shadow over the game involving his last club and possibly the next club Mourinho manages.

I have little doubt that Sky will look to that angle as a way to promote what is an underwhelming game with both Chelsea and Manchester United underachieving. However, I do think it could be one of the better games of the weekend as two teams with a big need to earn the three points meet one another.

It is the 6th February... The Flowers of Manchester will be remembered on the 58th Anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.

Manchester City v Leicester City Pick: The top of the Premier League is up for grabs when Manchester City meet Leicester City at The Etihad Stadium and this looks a very intriguing game.

I do think the absence of the likes of Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne is a big blow to Manchester City while we still don't know for sure how the players are responding to Manuel Pellegrini announcing his departure at the end of the season. They looked poor in the second half at Sunderland, but Manchester City did win that game and they are a much stronger team at home.

Manchester City have won seven of their last eight games at home in all competitions and it is tough to stop them winning games if they are scoring at least three goals in each as they have in those seven wins. Everton did earn a goalless draw here, but Sergio Aguero looks in much stronger form at this point and I think they will test an improved Leicester City defence.

I also do have a lot of respect for Leicester City who have won the most away games in the Premier League at this moment in time. However, they might have just begun to hit a wall on their travels as Leicester City were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa and were beaten at Liverpool on Boxing Day.

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez both have the kind of pace to really hurt this Manchester City backline, but I think Leicester City will need to be at their very best defensively to stay in this game. The counter attack will make Leicester City very dangerous and they will have their chances as I think Manchester City will dominate the ball and they aren't as good defensively without Kompany.

However, Manchester City are scoring a lot of goals at home at the moment and I think they will win this game. Clean sheets have been a problem for Manchester City so I do think Leicester City will play their part, but ultimately I fancy the home team to sneak the victory on Saturday.

Liverpool v Sunderland PickThere are a lot of positives that Sunderland can take out of their performance against Manchester City and reaching those levels consistently will give them a great chance of avoiding the drop. The games at the Stadium of Light have been more competitive from Sunderland's view, but this is a team that has to improve markedly on their travels if they are to get out of the bottom three.

Conceding too many goals is a big problem for Sunderland away from home but they are going up against a Liverpool team that have just struggled of late. It has been hard for them at Anfield where the expectation is Liverpool getting forward and scoring goals, but Jurgen Klopp doesn't seem to have a lot of faith in Christian Benteke and the false nine isn't working as it should.

Liverpool have actually failed to score the last three times they have played Premier League opponents at Anfield and I think it might be asking too much for them to win this one by more than a single goal. That is if they win at all and Sunderland must be looking at this game and thinking there are 'surprise' points to be had to help them in their battle against relegation.

This has been a tough fixture for Liverpool in recent seasons as they haven't turned it into three point as often as they like. The players are still trying to figure what exactly Klopp wants from them and not having the focal point up front has been tough to deal with.

If Sunderland can just defend properly, they will have a chance to get something out of this game. The side have a decent recent record at Anfield and backing Sunderland on the Double Chance to avoid losing has to be worth a small interest, especially when considering Liverpool have won 1 of their last 6 games here against Premier League opponents.

Stoke City v Everton PickThis is a really big game for both Stoke City and Everton for different reasons- Stoke City can't afford to let a promising season fizzle out in February, while Everton need to keep the pressure off of Roberto Martinez from the stands.

It was a contrasting week for the two teams as Stoke City lost both games played while Everton moved into the FA Cup Fifth Round before crushing Newcastle United.

Goals have surprisingly become a problem for Stoke City in recent games, but they are facing an Everton team that does concede goals. John Stones is out which makes them a little more vulnerable and Stoke City will be able to create chances through an inspiring front four that haven't sparked as well as they could in recent games.

On the other hand I think Everton will be confident they can create chances themselves even if Romelu Lukaku is potentially out. Ross Barkley has been in strong form and Stoke City look vulnerable at the back without Ryan Shawcross who is likely out until the end of the month.

These two teams played a very entertaining game when they met at Goodison Park five weeks ago and I can see this match being similar. Both teams should have chances to get on the scoreboard and backing there being at least three goals at odds against looks an appealing option.

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford PickWhen you think about it, it would be just like Tottenham Hotspur to get into this position of being considered genuine Premier League title contenders and then lay an absolute egg of a game. The form at White Hart Lane has been a lot more mixed than away from home and Watford have proved they are anything but an easy out for any team in the Premier League.

The away team have a dangerous front two that will test this Tottenham Hotspur defence that is amongst the best in the Premier League. That should keep Tottenham Hotspur focused who had a much more comfortable game during the week than Watford and I do think the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane are in very strong form that does give the home team the edge.

One trend that might not be easy to ignore is the fact that Watford have failed to score in their last couple of away games in the Premier League.

It has to be a concern for Watford who have put in so much effort over the last seven days in their last couple of games and I think Tottenham Hotspur can take advantage. My concern is the way that Spurs have played at White Hart Lane in recent games as they have struggled with the balance between attack and defence, but this is a young team full of confidence and the momentum behind them is hard to ignore.

I just think Tottenham Hotspur are going to be a little too strong on the day and I like them to win this one by a couple of goals.

Southampton v West Ham United Pick: This was originally set to be played on Monday Night Football, but West Ham United are involved in a FA Cup Fourth Round Replay this week meaning it was shifted to the late Saturday slot.

It looks a good game between Southampton and West Ham United who are both chasing European places from their Premier League form. Both teams are in the top half of the table and I think Southampton are about par as to where their goals were for the season, while The Hammers are overachieving.

Even though I think this is an intriguing game, it might not be one that sees too many goals scored by the teams involved. Both Southampton and West Ham United have been defending well and I can see this one being a tight game that could struggle to reach the three goal mark.

When they meet at Upton Park, the goals do tend to follow this fixture, but it has not been the case when the fixture is played on the South Coast. Last season it was a goalless draw, the second in a row since Southampton returned to the top flight, and the last six times they have played one another here we have seen two goals or fewer shared out.

With both teams knowing the importance of the three points on offer, I believe this fixture could see the teams cancel one another out and I will back there being two or fewer goals in the game.

Bournemouth v Arsenal PickI have to say the neutrals watching this game on Sunday should see plenty of good football as both Bournemouth and Arsenal look to impose their passing style against the other. There is pace and quality in the final third for both clubs too and I think there will definitely be goals in the game.

That looks an appealing price at odds against on first glance and I wouldn't be surprised if we see at least three goals shared between them.

However, the more appealing angle for me is backing Arsenal at a big price to win here.

This is actually a bigger price than Manchester United were to win at Bournemouth although the home team is arguably in better form now than they were in December. However, Bournemouth had won at Chelsea the week before that game against Manchester United and I have to think Arsenal would be a lot shorter if they had held on to beat Liverpool when leading 2-3 into the final minutes of that game at Anfield.

Arsenal would have definitely been shorter if they had taken one of a number of great chances against Southampton at home during the week and I think they will win this game if they create half as many chances. Bournemouth will allow Arsenal to play their football which is a big danger and the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez did everything but score on Tuesday.

Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United have won by wide margins here and I think Arsenal are capable of becoming yet another London team to earn the three points in this part of England. Bournemouth will likely play their part and I wouldn't be surprised if Benik Afobe pops up to score, but Arsenal have too much attacking talent to be held off the scoreboard again and I like them to win here.

Chelsea v Manchester United PickThe layers are not expecting a lot of goals when Chelsea meet Manchester United on Sunday in the second live game of the day, but I do think they might be missing something.

This is an important game for both teams but Chelsea have less to lose with their top four ambitions gone. Guus Hiddink is likely to ask his team to get forward and pressure Manchester United with Diego Costa leading the line unlike the game at Old Trafford where they played with a false nine.

And goals at Stamford Bridge have not been in short supply as Chelsea have scored at least twice in their last 6 games here in all competitions. However they haven't been winning games because Chelsea have kept a single clean sheet in their last 5 games at Stamford Bridge and have conceded at least twice in 3 of their last 4 games.

Defensively they have looked suspect and this Manchester United team have actually scored more away goals than they have at home in the Premier League. They scored 3 at Newcastle United and at Derby County recently and 4 of Manchester United's last 6 away games have seen at least three goals shared by the teams.

Last season it did end 1-0 to Chelsea here, but the previous 4 Premier League games here between these teams had produced at least three goals. Anyone who has seen the last two times Chelsea and Manchester United have met should not have missed the chances that have been created even if the goals have not followed and I can see a big price looking overpriced at the end of this one.

MY PICKS: Both Teams to Score and Manchester City to Win @ 3.20 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
Draw or Sunderland Double Chance @ 2.88 Coral (1 Unit)
Stoke City-Everton Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Tottenham Hotspur - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 2.10 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Southampton-West Ham United Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Arsenal @ 2.05 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Chelsea-Manchester United Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.45 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

February Update: 4-2-1, + 3.66 Units (14 Units Staked, + 26.14% Yield)

January Final19-13, + 17.56 Units (61 Units Staked, + 28.79% Yield)
December Final15-23, - 9.32 Units (64 Units Staked, - 14.56% Yield)
November Final: 11-19-1, - 12.94 Units (51 Units Staked, - 25.37% Yield)
October Final16-25, - 13.51 Units (79.50 Units Staked, - 16.99% Yield)
September Final29-30-3, + 4.18 Units (117.5 Units Staked, + 3.58% Yield)
August Final16-31-1, - 24.34 Units (94 Units Staked, - 25.89% Yield)

Season 2015/1687-128-5, - 38.37 Units (467 Units Staked, - 8.22% Yield)
Season 2014/15159-208-5, - 20.22 Units (647 Units Staked, - 3.13% Yield)
Season 2013/14164-185-3, + 15.84 Units (577 Units Staked, + 2.75% Yield)

Season 2012/13+ 4.42 Units (415 Units Staked, + 1.07% Yield)

Tennis Picks 2016 (February 6th)

I have to be a little frustrated with the way the picks went on Friday as it was the second day in a row when players missed not one or two chances to break serve, but what felt like hundreds of chances.

It was epitomised half way through the day when I tweeted out that my players had gone 4/29 on break point chances compared with their opponents who had gone 8/19. That is hard to accept because it clearly looks like the chances are being created but players are not quite getting over the line.

Add in a Feliciano Lopez retirement when two games from losing the match and it was a bad day wit very little luck going my way.

Saturday is all about the Semi Finals in Montpellier, Quito and Sofia as the week winds down with the first ATP 500 event of the season beginning next week in Rotterdam. There is also a big Premier Event on the WTA in St Petersburg as that Tour returns following Fed Cup action which dominated the end of this week.

Richard Gasquet - 3.5 games v Dustin Brown: He will forever be remembered for beating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, but Dustin Brown could have a more memorable week for himself if he can win the title in Montpellier. He has never before reached the Final of a Singles tournament on the main ATP Tour and he can start improving his World Ranking with a victory over Richard Gasquet in the Semi Final.

To be fair, Brown is the outsider of the four players left in the draw, but he has had a strong week after come through the Qualifiers to enter the main draw. He won the first two matches in the main draw as the underdog including a straight sets win over Gilles Simon, but Richard Gasquet is the toughest challenge he has faced this week.

The home favourite rode his luck at times in the second set against Marcos Baghdatis but still managed to come through in straight sets. Gasquet actually played well and looks to be over the back injury that forced him out of the first month of the 2016 season and I do think he will be able to contain the Brown game.

That is the key for Gasquet to make sure he looks after his own serve and then wait for the chances to come on the Brown serve. We have all seen 'Dreddy' serve incredibly well, but he is also likely to throw in a number of double faults.

If Gasquet can begin to get a read on the Brown serve and where it is going, he can make enough balls back to force Brown into difficult volleys. He might take a little time doing that, but I think Gasquet has looked good in the the first two matches and can win this one 64, 64.

Gilles Muller + 2.5 games v Roberto Bautista Agut: This looks a solid Semi Final as two players who have begun this season in decent form meet for the right to play in the Final on Sunday. Roberto Bautista Agut already has a title in the bag and had a strong showing at the Australian Open which makes it hard to oppose him, but I think Gilles Muller has been playing some very solid tennis himself this week and can keep this competitive if not win outright.

The first serve could be the key for Muller as it has been for much of the week and he had an impressive win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the Quarter Final. Muller will need the first serve to be working because Bautista Agut has a very solid return game and is capable of frustrating opponents with his movement and ability to make them play one more shot.

His own serve is pretty effective, but the second serve is where Bautista Agut can have problems and there is the chance he is undercooked having had just one match this week. At least he got to see a lefty serve in the Quarter Final which may help Bautista Agut recognise the angles that Muller is throwing at him, but it looks a very close match which makes these games appealing.

Bautista Agut has won the last four tie-breakers he has played which makes him particularly dangerous for Muller, but I will take the games in this Semi Final in Sofia.

MY PICKS: Richard Gasquet - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Gilles Muller + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 11-11, - 2.74 Units (44 Units Staked, - 6.23% Yield)

Friday, 5 February 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (February 5th)


The week looked to be in tremendous shape going into the final few days and what happens?


But more frustrating is the fact that at least three of those matches go very differently if players don't have some really sloppy moments.

I'll never know how Gilles Muller didn't cover considering he had break points in all but one of Ricardas Berankis' second service games. The big moment was in the middle of the set with Muller leading 2-1, 0-40, but he then lost an incredible 15/17 points to go a break down.

He did retrieve that break but missed match point at 6-5 up and won in a tie-breaker to miss the cover by a single game.

Add Fernando Verdasco who was up a break in the deciding set as he looked to be on course for the cover only to lose serve twice, once with a back to back double fault, before Feliciano Lopez won a set 6-2 against Joao Souza but couldn't do much against the Brazilian in the first two sets to also miss the cover by one game.

Don't misunderstand though, the Benoit Paire pick sucked as he continues to be the worst player inside the top 30 of the World Rankings (I couldn't tell you how surprised I was to see Paire is Number 21 in the World Rankings), but even a little bit of luck wouldn't have ruined the first three days of the week.

The week might have been hit badly, but there are still three days left of the week and I do think things can be turned around. Frustrating as Thursday was, I have to keep the mind clear and look at the picks and see that at least two were in very strong positions to cover while a third dominated just a little too late so they weren't far away.

I just hope that bit of luck for the hundreds of break points generated can help see those serves broken this time.

Michael Berrer + 2.5 games v Alexander Zverev: This is the kind of match where the veteran Michael Berrer can use all of his experience to find a way past his young opponent Alexander Zverev. Berrer has done that once already in this tournament when seeing off Borna Coric in the First Round, but this might be a big week for Zverev who has had his share of luck to reach this Quarter Final.

I can see a tight match develop between the two compatriots.

Michael Berrer has had plenty of success on the indoor hard courts in the past with his lefty serve a big weapon on the surface. He has used that to good effect so far in the tournament and it was a key to beating Zverev last season.

He will have to serve well as Zverev has done well in holding his own serve for much of the week, especially under pressurised situations. However being back as the favourite brings its own pressures and I am not Zverev is going to be able to deal with that element and the expectation he reaches the Semi Final.

I wouldn't be surprised if we get to see a deciding set between these players, but Berrer has a good chance of getting to another indoor hard court Semi Final if he can serve as well as he has for the most part this week. I have to give Zverev credit for holding it together at key moments through his first two matches, but he might have to do that again if he is to get through and I believe Berrer keeps this one close if he doesn't win outright.

Marcos Baghdatis + 3.5 games v Richard Gasquet: Despite a lay off from the Tour which meant missing the first month of the 2016 season, Richard Gasquet played very well in his Second Round win over Ernests Gulbis. It was a back injury that kept the Frenchman out of the Australian Open, but he didn't seem to have too many problems serving against Gulbis, although I expect a much sterner test in the Quarter Finals.

Marcos Baghdatis might not be at the level that took him to the Australian Open Final and the Wimbledon Semi Final these days, but he has had two solid wins this week. He is still capable of producing some very strong tennis and I think he will offer more on the return of serve than Gulbis did against Gasquet a couple of days ago.

The concern has to be that Baghdatis still throws in a sloppy service game or two through the course of a set because he is ultimately going to have a pretty low first serve percentage. That will give Gasquet a chance to get a read on the second and really get into the rallies and pressure Baghdatis and I think the serve could be a key for the Number 1 Seed.

However, this is the second competitive match Gasquet will be playing following his lay off and I do wonder how the back held up on Thursday the day after his match. He might not have been tested in the Second Round, but Gasquet is playing a more confident opponent than Gulbis and I think Baghdatis has enough to take a set at least.

That should be enough to give him the games to cover with the head start and I will back the Cypriot to do that in this Quarter Final.

Andreas Seppi - 3.5 games v Martin Klizan: A late break of serve while drinking in the last chance saloon helped Martin Klizan to come back and then beat Lukas Rosol in the Second Round. That is a big win for Klizan who has been struggling for wins on the Tour over the last few months and will be playing in his first Quarter Final since September and only the second since April last season.

These are the kind of wins that will build confidence for Klizan who seems to have plenty of talent but lacks consistency and plays with a low margin of error. When things tend to go wrong for Klizan, they go wrong significantly and that might be a problem against the savvy veteran Andreas Seppi.

Over the years Seppi has produced some big performances on the Tour, but has always had to work hard to protect serve. He remains in a position to be Seeded at Grand Slam events and his convincing win in the Second Round over Thiemo de Bakker will give the Italian plenty of belief in his game.

That follows a decent Australian Open and I think Seppi has the return game to give Klizan some issues. I can see him frustrating Klizan if he is making enough balls back in play and that could see Seppi get the better of his opponent who may self-destruct.

I am a little concerned that Klizan can hit a real purple patch that will see him dictate the points against the Seppi serve, but he is likely to give Seppi chances to break too and I think the higher Seeded player moves through 75, 64.

Thomaz Bellucci - 2.5 games v Pablo Carreno Busta: This should be a decent Quarter Final to get us underway in Quito and I do think the Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci will have a little too much for Pablo Carreno Busta. The conditions in Quito are seeing the ball fly very quickly, but the speed of the courts are quicker than those you would see on other clay courts around the world.

That should aid Bellucci who definitely has the bigger first serve, especially if Carreno Busta is struggling to get his eye in as he was in his Second Round win over Inigo Cervantes. Bellucci made much lighter work of Albert Montanes and he looks to have the edge in this match.

The lefty serve is awkward to deal with at the best of times, but having that big first serve on the faster courts should lead to Bellucci having a slightly easier time holding serve than Carreno Busta. The Spaniard is very effective on the clay courts so I won't rule a line through him easily, but I do think he might be put under a little more pressure when it comes to holding serve and that can be key in the contest.

Bellucci has definitely had the more consistent results at this level than Carreno Busta and I can see him battling through with a 76, 64 win under his belt.

Victor Estrella Burgos - 2.5 games v Renzo Olivo: I have to give Renzo Olivo credit for battling past Fernando Verdasco in the Second Round despite being a break down in the final set. However he now faces Victor Estrella Burgos who has enjoyed his two appearances in Quito having won the tournament last year and come through a couple of matches this time around.

Last season Burgos had a little too much for Olivo when these players met in the Second Round but it was a tight match decided by a point here or there. I was impressed with the pop Olivo was getting out of his first serve against Verdasco, but it has already been a long week for him and there were signs of fatigue before his Spanish opponent self-destructed in the third set.

This is another big test for Olivo considering how much Burgos has enjoyed his time on these courts with just one set dropped in seven matches in Quito. He has been playing well this week too and Burgos has been holding it together on break points and he is yet to drop serve.

That will be tested by Olivo who is solid off the ground and far better than his World Ranking suggests. However, I also think Olivo will present some chances to have his own serve broken and Burgos might record the same win he had last season over Olivo as he moves into the Semi Final behind a 76, 64 win.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas + 2.5 games v Feliciano Lopez: Like he had to do on his way to the Final in Quito last season, Feliciano Lopez had to battle from behind to come through a match here. My one concern for Lopez is that he looked a little tired at times and I am wondering if he is 100% healthy for the event here where is defending a number of Ranking points as he tries to reverse a slip outside of the top 20 in the World Rankings.

He will be tested by Albert Ramos-Vinolas who has looked very assured of himself here this week. Ramos-Vinolas has only been broken once in his two matches here this week and the serve has been working well enough to think he can give his compatriot and fellow lefty some problems to work out in this one.

Their two previous matches have been very tight affairs too and Lopez has to be careful that he isn't playing the loose service games that almost cost him against Joao Souza in the Second Round. Lopez will earn plenty of cheap points in this one too behind a very effective first serve, but if my feeling is right that he is not fully healthy, the edge does move towards Ramos-Vinolas.

I do think the lower Ranked Spaniard can win a set in this one which should give him a strong chance of covering this number and I think Ramos-Vinolas has every chance of winning outright. Chances might come at a premium in this one but I think Ramos-Vinolas will get inside this number even in a close loss.

MY PICKS: Michael Berrer + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Marcos Baghdatis + 3.5 Games @ 1.73 William Hill (2 Units)
Andreas Seppi - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)

Thomaz Bellucci - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Victor Estrella Burgos - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Sporting Bet (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 9-8, - 0.38 Units (34 Units Staked, - 1.12% Yield)

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (February 4th)

It was almost another really good day for the tennis picks on Wednesday, but Lukas Rosol failed to serve out his match against Martin Klizan in the third set which means I had to settle for a 3-2 record on the day.

That keeps the week going in a positive direction which is all I would have asked for and I am looking at the remaining Second Round matches to be played in Montpellier, Quito and Sofia to help keep the week trending upwards.

Some of the big name Seeds that have agreed to play this week will be in action on Thursday after receiving byes in the First Round.

Other good news on Wednesday was hearing my favourite player Juan Martin Del Potro is returning to the Tour in around ten days time at Delray Beach. I really hope he is over the wrist issues that have crushed two years of his career, especially as Del Potro is one of the best players on the Tour when he is fully healthy and certainly capable of giving anyone, including Novak Djokovic, something to think about.

The 2016 season is all about getting comfortable back on the Tour and playing competitive tennis week in and week out for Del Potro. If he can get through the remainder of the season feeling healthy, Del Potro could be back to his best by the time 2017 rolls around and will hopefully have had a significant jump in the World Rankings.

There is no doubting the hard work that Del Potro is going to have to put in to get back to where he once was in the World Rankings, including playing in some tournaments he wouldn't have at his best, but I have faith a healthy Del Potro can once again reach the top ten in the World Rankings.

I can only wish the best of luck to the big man and hope things work out as he wants this time around. Another injury will surely mean retirement for him so fingers crossed he has more luck with his health.

Talking about health, it was announced that Roger Federer has had to undergo knee surgery which means he will be off the Tour until Indian Wells at the earliest. That means his absence in Rotterdam and Dubai, two tournaments he has enjoyed, and will be a big blow to his chances of overtaking Andy Murray for the World Number 2 position as he would have been favourite to do with the latter taking time off to spend with his wife who will shortly give birth to their first child.

Federer had already announced he would have a very short clay court season in 2016 and I do wonder if this injury has changed his plans in regards to those events in April and May heading into the French Open.

Jan-Lennard Struff - 2.5 games v Ruben Bemelmans: It was a pretty impressive display from Jan-Lennard Struff to beat Nicolas Mahut as comfortably as he did in the First Round. Backing that up is not going to be easy for a player that has underachieved in his career to date, but Struff has definitely enjoyed playing on the indoor hard courts more than most on the main Tour.

He is also benefitting from playing Ruben Bemelmans in the Second Round rather than Joao Sousa, especially as Bemelmans rode his luck at times to come through that match. His World Ranking suggests he is unlikely to be as effective saving break points as he was for much of the match with Sousa, although the lefty serve might give Struff some problems getting a read on the angles it is coming from.

Struff definitely has the bigger serve which can set up a few more cheap points for him to stay ahead of the scoreboard. He has to make sure the first serve is coming in at a high enough percentage to ensure that occurs, but I do think the courts he will aid Struff a little more than Bemelmans who is perhaps not as strong off the ground.

Neither player has had a lot of success so far in 2016 which makes the Quarter Final place on offer very important to improve Rankings, but I think the edge is with the Struff serve. After coming through a tight first set with a couple of breaks for each player, I think Struff wins a tie-breaker which is too big a mental blow for Bemelmans to overcome and the German wins this one 76, 64.

Benoit Paire - 2.5 games v Paul-Henri Mathieu: One of the players that can be very hard to trust on the Tour is Benoit Paire who seemingly has all the tools to be really make a significant move up the World Rankings, but also lacks the consistency to do so. He should still be too good for Paul-Henri Mathieu as the veteran Frenchman has struggled for wins on the main Tour in the last few seasons.

Mathieu did have an impressive win in the First Round which should have given him plenty of confidence to take into this match against an opponent who hasn't played since the First Round at the Australian Open. That defeat for Paire was a stunning one, especially after he went into his press conference and showed little respect for his opponent and instead trashed his own performance on the day.

There have been plenty of times I have watched Paire and the word 'trash' pretty much sums up some of the tennis he produces. He has a big serve but that can still let him down as his shot selection helps his opponent come through to earn break points and take sets off of him.

Playing a compatriot at home should inspire Paire to bring in a better performance and I think he is capable of beating Mathieu for a third time within the last twelve months. The last match was a three setter that saw both players dominate the sets they won, but ultimately Paire does look the better player at this stage of his career and I fancy he will have too much for Mathieu in a 64, 64 win.

Gilles Muller - 3.5 games v Ricardas Berankis: It is almost exactly a year to the day since Ricardas Berankis and Gilles Muller met on an indoor hard court, but the venue has moved from Zagreb to Sofia this time around. Last year Berankis somehow came through a tight second set to level the match and go on and beat Muller, but I think the latter will have revenge in this Second Round match.

The courts in Sofia are perhaps not playing as quickly as some of the other indoor hard courts on the Tour, but Muller's big serve is not reliant simply on speed, but also on his very strong accuracy. He uses that serve to good effect for the most part during his time on the Tour, and it will be a big issue for Berankis to deal with considering he is not the tallest player on the Tour and has tougher angles to cover.

He played well to do that in his win over Muller last year and Berankis has to be respected as a player that can make all the shots off the ground you need. However, his serve is not the biggest and will put him under pressure at times and it can be difficult for Berankis to get a foothold in matches when he is as aggressive as he is.

If he is no quite on his game, Berankis is someone who can fall off in matches and I think Muller will have him under some scoreboard pressure which could help him break serve. Muller isn't the best returner, but he can make enough balls back against this serve and Berankis could easily buckle under the pressure of staying in the match in a 76, 63 defeat.

Fernando Verdasco - 3.5 games v Renzo Olivo: After beating Rafael Nadal and putting in huge work to improve his physical fitness in the off-season, Fernando Verdasco has to be disappointed his Australian Open didn't extend beyond the Second Round. He now heads down to Ecuador to begin what is likely to be a number of appearances on the South American Golden Swing and I do expect him to be too good for the Qualifier Renzo Olivo.

The conditions in Quito should favour Verdasco's game with the speed of the courts making them play much faster than usual clay courts. That should aid Verdasco's big game, although he has to serve better and show more consistency off the ground than he did in his loss at the Australian Open to Dudi Sela.

Renzo Olivo might have the edge in terms of having had three matches here already, but Verdasco did reach the Semi Final here last season and he should have the more solid all around game. Olivo doesn't have the biggest serve so Verdasco should have plenty of time to get into rallies against him and the power should come from the Spaniard's side of the court which should prove to be critical under these conditions.

I do think Olivo will have his success too because he will extract errors from the enigmatic Verdasco by getting plenty of balls back in play. That will make this a fun match for the fans in attendance and those watching on television, but ultimately I would expect Verdasco to have too much in a 64, 75 win.

Feliciano Lopez - 3.5 games v Joao Souza: Last year Feliciano Lopez reached the Final in the inaugural tournament in Quito and he is back to try and go a step further this time around. Lopez comes into the tournament as the Number 2 Seed behind Bernard Tomic and the veteran Spaniard has shown no signs that he is ready to slip down the World Rankings.

A lot of that could be down to the style of play Lopez produces as he follows plenty of big serves by coming into the net and keeping points short, while not many players will be used to playing opponents like this these days. Lopez is likely to put plenty of pressure on Joao Souza who has come through the Qualifiers and was then a fairly comfortable winner in his First Round match.

However, I think Souza is going to have some issues reading the Lopez left-handed play and will also find the slice backhand the kind of variation that will see him make errors. The Brazilian has a decent first serve that should be more effective in these conditions, but I am not convinced his overall play will be enough with Lopez likely to bunt a few returns back into play and force Souza to win some longer rallies.

There is every chance we see a close first set as Lopez gets accustomed to the conditions again, but I think he will eventually prove too tough in a 64, 63 win.

MY PICKS: Jan-Lennard Struff - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Benoit Paire - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Gilles Muller - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Feliciano Lopez - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 9-3, + 9.62 Units (24 Units Staked, + 40.08% Yield)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (February 3rd)

The first two days of the week have been very productive for the picks on the Tour as I start the road to recovery from the poor Australian Open tournament.

The tournaments in Montpellier, Quito and Sofia continue on Wednesday as we move into the Second Round matches and that also means the top Seeds are in action who have received a bye in the First Round. The key is to find the right angles to play as I have so far, but also hoping that the luck remains behind me which is always a benefit when making picks in any sport.

Marcos Baghdatis - 3.5 games v Taro Daniel: He is a veteran of the Tour these days and Marcos Baghdatis never seems too far away from an injury that keeps him off the circuit for a prolonged period. There is no doubting the talent Baghdatis has, but he is not quite the same player as a few years ago with the movement not quite as good as it was, but he remains a popular figure who will receive plenty of support.

Baghdatis felt good on court in the First Round win over Lukas Lacko thanks to a couple of late breaks of serve. There was some room for improvement though as Baghdatis will want to be a little better dealing with the pressurised situations of being down break points, but he would have been happy with the way he was returning on the day too.

It will need to be more of the same if Baghdatis is to get through to the Quarter Final at the expense of Taro Daniel, but I do think the Cypriot will have more of the break point chances in this one. Daniel won his first match in 2016 with his victory over Denis Istomin in the First Round, but he has been a tough out having lost all three previous matches after pushing them the distance.

Maybe Daniel has earned enough experience now to deal with the main Tour, but I think he is a player that is yet to really look after serve fully which puts pressure on him. The second serve points will be key in this one as the player that can look after that side of their game the best is likely to come through, but that is where I give Baghdatis the edge as the superior player on the ground.

I would be surprised if there aren't some twists and turns in the match, but ultimately I think Baghdatis is going to show he is still in a position to win matches like this in a tight 75, 64 victory.

Marin Cilic - 3.5 games v Alexander Zverev: Some toughness and ultimately some luck helped Alexander Zverev beat Luca Vanni in the First Round in Montpellier but he will need to be a lot better if he is going to beat Marin Cilic. Zagreb is no longer one of the events on the Tour which means Cilic has decided to take in Montpellier for the first time, but as a former four time Champion at this time of the season, he will be considered a danger here.

It has been a disappointing start to 2016 for Marin Cilic who is hoping to get back into the kind of form that took him to the US Open title in 2015. Defeats to Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista Agut would have bothered him but Cilic is comfortable on the indoor hard courts and can certainly go deep into the draw if he wins this Second Round match.

The serve has to work better than it has been for Cilic to really get back into a position to be a real contender at the very best tournaments. It will also give him a good chance to beat the potential star of the future in Alexander Zverev who was a little erratic with his own delivery on Monday.

A problem Zverev was having against Vanni was backing up his play off the ground and trying to deal with the power that his opponent was hitting with. That is going to be coming to the fore again against Cilic who hits the ball plenty hard, but also is a much better returner than Vanni and I think that pressure will see him crack the Zverev defences.

I can see Cilic earning a break more than Zverev in each set in this one to move through in a 64, 63 straight sets win.

Lukas Rosol - 2.5 games v Martin Klizan: A six match losing run was brought to an end by Martin Klizan with an easy win over an overmatched Wild Card entry in the First Round here, but the competition ramps up considerably for him. In the past Klizan has shown he has plenty of talent and shot making capabilities, but he doesn't play with a lot of margin for error and so when he is off his game he can look a really poor player.

Klizan battled well at the Australian Open to come back from 2-0 down to Roberto Bautista Agut before ultimately losing in five sets, but his first two appearances in 2016 had seen him look very poor. Now he faces Lukas Rosol who battled back from a set down to beat Robin Haase in the First Round and who has plenty of wins under his belt to open the new season.

I will admit that it can be hard to back Rosol with any real faith because he is another player that can go through periods of making far too many unforced errors with poor shot selection or with a low margin of error in his shots. He has a huge serve that I don't think Rosol uses to his advantage as well as he should, but the Czech player has to be feeling more confident than Klizan at this moment in time.

I do think Rosol is the right favourite and I like him to cover this number because of the manner in which Klizan has lost matches. Before the defeat at the Australian Open, the last thirteen losses Klizan had suffered had all come in straight sets and only a couple of those sets even went as far as the tie-breaker. Rosol might need a tie-breaker in this one, but I do think he wins 76, 64 to move into the Quarter Final.

Pablo Carreno Busta - 3.5 games v Inigo Cervantes: I backed Inigo Cervantes to come through his First Round match here and he did eventually see off Pere Riba, although he will need to serve a lot better to beat another compatriot in this Second Round match. Over the first two sets, Cervantes struggled with his first serve percentage and he had to save a host of break points before eventually taking control, but a slow start is likely to be punished this time.

Pablo Carreno Busta has some big expectations on his shoulders and he has shown he has the talent to be the next Spanish player to reach the top of the men's game. However his inconsistencies have not helped and being World Number 67 has to be a disappointment for Carreno Busta.

He was a very comfortable First Round winner and has beaten Cervantes the two previous times they have played one another, both times coming on the clay courts. The courts in Quito are playing a little faster than other clay courts, but that should suit Carreno Busta who has the more reliable serve of the two players.

Neither player has really pulled up any trees to open the 2016 season, but I think Carreno Busta is the superior player and can battle through this match and move into the Quarter Finals with a 64, 64 win behind him.

Thomaz Bellucci - 3.5 games v Albert Montanes: The Golden Swing on the clay courts of South America will be seen as a good time for Thomaz Bellucci to get his season on track after a tough start to 2016. He beat Albert Montanes here in Quito last season and I really do think the lefty Brazilian can beat the veteran again this time around.

Last season Bellucci beat Montanes in the Quarter Final which meant he had got used to the conditions here but this time he is coming in blind with this being his first match in Quito compared with his opponent who won in the First Round.

Will that make a difference? I think there is a chance it does early on in the match as Bellucci settles down, especially as he is yet to win a match this season. However, Bellucci should begin to get a good read of the Montanes serve and start creating break point chances, while his own first serve can set up a few more easier points on these quicker courts.

At this stage of Montanes' career, you can't really expect him to maintain the form over a couple of hours to beat a player like Bellucci who is comfortable on this surface. Th first set might be very tight as Bellucci gets familiarised with his surroundings, but that should set him up for a 76, 63 win in this one.

MY PICKS: Marcos Baghdatis - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Lukas Rosol - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Pablo Carreno Busta - 3.5 Games @ 1.95 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Thomaz Bellucci - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Betway (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 6-1, + 8.26 Units (14 Units Staked, + 59% Yield)

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Midweek Football Picks 2016 (February 2-3)

The European Championship Finals are played this summer and that means some of the domestic European Leagues are trying to make sure they are finished early enough to give the national teams enough preparation time.

That also means we have a number of these midweek round of fixtures in the Premier League after seeing one in January and another one coming up in early March.

The transfer window was also closed on Monday, although the biggest news story was clearly Manchester City confirming the most open secret in football that Pep Guardiola would be taking over at The Etihad Stadium in the summer. It is a big coup for Manchester City, but he will be taking over an ageing squad and I will be interested to see what kind of investment he will make in the summer and how quickly those players gel into the Premier League.

It is a shame for Manuel Pellegrini who hasn't done a bad job at Manchester City, but this is a club looking for more consistent success these days. Ironically Pep Guardiola could be taking over at a second club in a row that has had unprecedented success if Manchester City can close this season in the right fashion having taken over at Bayern Munich weeks after that club had won the treble.

Pellegrini seems liked and respected by his players so I would be surprised if Manchester City players downed tools in anticipation of Guardiola's arrival, while others are perhaps knowing their time at the club is coming to an end and must surely want to go out in a blaze of glory.

The deal being announced for Guardiola also puts the pressure on Manchester City's rivals at the top of the Premier League in Chelsea and Manchester United who both could potentially be looking for anew manager in the summer. This is a big summer for those two clubs as well as Arsenal if they want to hold onto the coattails of Manchester City who really could make some significant transfers to strengthen their side with many players openly admitting their admiration for Guardiola and making a move to Manchester City all the more appealing to play under the Catalan manager.

Those are issues that will be resolved in the summer and going into next season, but for now the concentration is back on the Premier League in what is a traditionally busy month. The Champions League and Europa League tournaments recommence as well as the FA Cup Fifth Round and the first silverware in England being dished out in the Capital One Cup Final.

It can be a key month to start separating those teams who will win things and those who will be considered the also-rans and it is important to start building momentum at the top and bottom of the League table.

Arsenal v Southampton PickIt has been a tough run of League games for Arsenal when you look at the results but things could have looked a lot different with a bit of luck on their side. Consider how people would react to Arsenal if they had held on and beaten Liverpool at Anfield rather than concede a late equaliser and how different the game with Chelsea might have been if Per Mertesacker had not been sent off.

That is the view that Arsene Wenger has taken with recent games and he will be boosted by the goal-scoring return of Alexis Sanchez in the FA Cup this past weekend. He was also able to rest a number of the Arsenal starters in that win over Burnley who all should be ready to make amends for the defeat to Chelsea.

Arsenal have been very strong at The Emirates Stadium if you put that Chelsea game aside, a game that would have been a lot different without the early sending off. I expect home advantage to be key for Arsenal against Southampton and have to say I am surprised by the price on the home win.

Some will say it is a realistic one considering Southampton have won 3 League games in a row and have also been well-rested having been knocked out of the FA Cup. Others will point to a team that won their last game at Manchester United, but Arsenal are a much different test to Manchester United this season.

Also that does hide the fact that Southampton had lost 4 away games in a row in the Premier League prior to the win at Old Trafford. The Saints don't concede a lot of goals away from home, but hey don't score a lot either and Arsenal are hard to keep from scoring at The Emirates Stadium.

Last season it took Arsenal until the last minute to beat Southampton at home, but they did beat them and the attacking talent at Arsene Wenger's disposal makes me believe they can win this one too.

Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur PickIt has been a tight Premier League season at the top and bottom of the League table and this is a big game that will have a major impact at both ends.

Alex Neil was unimpressed in the manner in which his Norwich City side blew a 3-1 lead against Liverpool before scoring late to make it 4-4 in that game. However, they were then beaten in injury time literally a minute later and it is a result that has really bothered the manager.

You can't blame Alex Neil for being so angry with that result, especially as it was the fourth straight game in which Norwich City have conceded at least three goals. He has had ten days to work on his team in anticipation of this game and I do think Norwich City can't be much worse defensively with that in mind, but the onus is also on them to get forward in front of their own fans.

That is a big risk against this Tottenham Hotspur team who have shown more character than many of the other sides they have had in recent seasons. They have been very effective away from home as they take advantage of the additional space they get on their travels and that has shown up with 5 wins from their last 6 away games in all competitions.

Tottenham Hotspur have scored at least twice in all of those wins and there will be confidence they can visit Norwich City and do the same, although recent results on this ground have not been the best. A lot of credit for Tottenham Hotspur's season has to be given to their defensive record, but Spurs have a single clean sheet in their last 5 away games and Norwich City have shown they have goals in the side.

I have a gut feeling Tottenham Hotspur have enough to win this game, but Norwich City had been strong at home in the Premier League before the loss to Liverpool. That was a strange game all around and I think my lean is towards this game offering at least three goals shared by the two teams.

Sunderland v Manchester City PickManchester City made the announcement that Pep Guardiola will be taking over as manager at The Etihad Stadium, an open secret that most people had already accepted. However, this announcement does mean there are some unknowns as to how the Manchester City players are going to react, but I do think Manuel Pellegrini is well liked by his squad and I would be surprised if they 'downed tools'.

For many of the Manchester City players this is going to be the end of the line for them at the club too so perhaps that will motivate them to leave a mark at the club in the next few months.

The first chance we will get to see how the Manchester City players are reacting is in their visit to the Stadium of Light where they have turned around a poor recent history with back to back 1-4 wins. That means they have beaten Sunderland by the same 4-1 scoreline in 3 of their last 4 matches against this team and the home team will be blooding some new signings.

Sam Allardyce has struggled to make Sunderland as effective defensively as he would have liked and the next two months are huge for the manager as he tries to keep The Black Cats in the top flight. Sunderland will likely need some surprising results to really get out of trouble and I am not sure this squad has enough quality to do that.

With the way Manchester City have been playing, I think it will be tough for Sunderland to keep them at bay. They have scored thirteen goals in their last four games in all competitions and Manchester City have an in-form Sergio Aguero which gives them a significant edge in the match.

I do respect the fact that Sunderland have rarely been beaten easily at home under Sam Allardyce, but this Manchester City is looking rampant at the moment and I will be looking for them to show that the Guardiola-Pellegrini situation will not make them forget their goals for the season.

West Ham United v Aston Villa PickDraws are no longer much good for Aston Villa who are still 10 points from safety in the Premier League, but at least they are avoiding defeat and Remi Garde will hope to build on that. The 0-4 home defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup is a bitter blow for the team, but the fans were clearly not that much behind a Cup run with Villa Park far short of capacity on the day.

It has been a hard season for Aston Villa and now they have a few injuries to deal with while they are playing a West Ham United team that have been difficult to beat in recent weeks. West Ham United have been particularly strong at home where a late Sergio Aguero equaliser has prevented them coming into this one on a 4 game winning run at home.

I don't think there is any doubt that Slaven Bilic would love to see more draws turned into wins which would really get West Ham United moving towards the Champions League places. That is particularly the case away from home in recent games, but West Ham United have found the inspiration to earn a few wins at Upton Park.

Games agains Aston Villa have been tight in recent seasons, but West Ham United look to have a significant edge in terms of quality in this one. Someone like Dimitri Payet can make all the difference with a quality set piece or a bit of magic from the middle of the park and I think West Ham United will win this game.

Aston Vill have drawn 3 of their last 5 away games in the Premier League which is a decent run relative to the rest of their season. However they were undone at Norwich City and Sunderland and the need for points could mean they perhaps push a little too far forward and are caught by a quality counter attacking team like The Hammers.

Defensively Aston Villa still look unsure and I like the home team to win at a little short of odds against.

Manchester United v Stoke City PickThe win at Derby County saw Manchester United produce one of their best performances in months, but that was against an out of form Championship side and this is a big test for them. After losing their last game at Old Trafford to Southampton, Louis Van Gaal has admitted he doesn't know what kind of atmosphere will accompany his Manchester United side in this one.

A first half goal might change things as Manchester United try to get on the scoreboard before half time for the first time in twelve attempts at Old Trafford. They should have their chances as this Stoke City team have begun to look a little shaky defensively, particularly without Ryan Shawcross who will be missing in this one.

Stoke City were the team that almost put the final nail in Louis Van Gaal's career as Manchester United manager with a 2-0 win at The Brittania Stadium on Boxing Day. However, this is a team that has conceded at least twice in 4 of their last 5 away Premier League games and Manchester United have created chances at times in their home games even if they were very poor against Southampton.

Games against Stoke City have generally been quite high-scoring at Old Trafford and the away team have enough quality in the forward areas to think they can give Manchester United something to think about too. This feels like it could be a rare experience for the fans at Old Trafford and goals could be produced, maybe even before half time if they are really fortunate.

No one will be surprised that the layers don't have the same feeling as I do, but the last 3 Stoke City away Premier League games have seen at least three goals shared out by the teams involved. It is odds against because of the lack of goals at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season, but I think the improved performance against Derby County will see a more positive Manchester United, while Stoke City have the attacking talent to create chances too.

Backing at least three goals to be shared between these teams in what has been a high-scoring fixture in recent seasons is my prediction for the game.

Everton v Newcastle United Pick: Being stuck in the bottom half of the table is not good enough for Everton fans with the squad they have at their disposal and the pressure remains on Roberto Martinez to turn things around. The League Cup looked to have offered a respite, but misfortune in the Second Leg of the Semi Final at Manchester City ended Everton's interest in the competition and that has only kept the pressure on their manager.

Everton avoided a shock exit in the FA Cup Fourth Round with a comfortable win at Carlisle United, but Newcastle United with their new signings offers a different test. This is a team that creates chances but will be looking for better finishing and Newcastle United are capable of giving Everton a really hard time here.

That is because Everton look a mess defensively and their only clean sheet at Goodison Park in their last 7 games in a here in all competitions has come against League Two Dagenham & Redbridge. They always look like a team that will give their opponents chances and Newcastle United created enough in recent losses at Arsenal and Watford to think they can do the same here.

However Newcastle United themselves have kept a single clean sheet in their last 10 away games in all competitions and this looks a game that will produce goals. I can see both teams scoring but the importance of the three points should have both looking for the win and I believe backing goals is the best option from the game.

Watford v Chelsea Pick: I already think Chelsea have left it too late to get into the Champions League by finishing in the top four of the Premier League, but they have shown signs that their form could be turning around. There is little doubt The Blues have been more effective away from home, while they can't overlook this game with the visit of Manchester United in mind this weekend.

It has been a much better season for Watford who look set to extend their stay in the Premier League after moving onto 32 points, while they have also moved into the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. A home tie with Leeds United should present a very good chance to get into the Quarter Finals of that competition and Watford will definitely be up for the visit of Chelsea.

Watford have been a mixed bag at home though with five wins and five losses from their last ten games at Vicarage Road and facing a Chelsea team that is unbeaten in four away games in all competitions is tough. Chelsea have also won three in a row on their travels and have only conceded a single goal in that run of unbeaten games while winning on difficult grounds like Selhurst Park and The Emirates Stadium.

Diego Costa looks happier as does Eden Hazard who finally scored again at the weekend in the win at the MK Dons. These teams did play out a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, but Chelsea seem much more solid away from Stamford Bridge and I think they can win this game.

It won't be easy, but odds against quotes on the Chelsea win can't be ignored and I like them to take another three points on their travels in the Premier League.

MY PICKS: Arsenal @ 1.80 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Norwich City-Tottenham Hotspur Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)
Manchester City - 1 Asian Handicap @ 1.73 Bet Victor (2 Units)
West Ham United @ 1.95 Bet365 (2 Units)
Manchester United-Stoke City Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.30 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Everton-Newcastle United Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.67 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Chelsea @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

January Final: 19-13, + 17.56 Units (61 Units Staked, + 28.79% Yield)
December Final15-23, - 9.32 Units (64 Units Staked, - 14.56% Yield)
November Final: 11-19-1, - 12.94 Units (51 Units Staked, - 25.37% Yield)
October Final16-25, - 13.51 Units (79.50 Units Staked, - 16.99% Yield)
September Final29-30-3, + 4.18 Units (117.5 Units Staked, + 3.58% Yield)
August Final16-31-1, - 24.34 Units (94 Units Staked, - 25.89% Yield)

Season 2015/16: 87-128-5, - 38.37 Units (467 Units Staked, - 8.22% Yield)
Season 2014/15159-208-5, - 20.22 Units (647 Units Staked, - 3.13% Yield)
Season 2013/14164-185-3, + 15.84 Units (577 Units Staked, + 2.75% Yield)
Season 2012/13+ 4.42 Units (415 Units Staked, + 1.07% Yield)