Three big matches to look at

Real Madrid v Valencia With controversy still raging after contentious penalty and handball decisions in the Kings Cup game midweek, these two sides face each other once again in the league.  Real are currently 18 points behind league leaders Barcelona and 7 points behind Atletico Madrid, any more slip ups could cost them 2nd place in the league which would be a horrendous result for them. With manager Mourinho almost certain to leave the club at the end of the season, questions around his focus on the league have sprung up whilst everyone knows he desperately wants to win the Champions League this season. Ronaldo sat out the last league game (against Osasuna) through suspension and should be back for this one.  Marcelo is also in line for a run out after a lengthy absence through injury. Valencia are sitting in 8th place with a goal difference of 0.  Despite Reals indifferent showings in the league this season, we think that they are going to come out victorious in this one and with odds around 1.8, that looks a fairly good bet for us. Selection: Real Madrid to win.  1.84 at Pinnacle. Real Sociedad v Barcelona With only four games in the Liga on Saturday, this game surely takes top billing. Barça can open up a 21 point gap between themselves and Real Madrid by winning this game and with World Player of the Year Leo Messi in their ranks, not many are going to be brave enough to bet against them. Anders Knudsen put forward a good point at the end of last season, if you had backed Barcelona to win every match in the league last season, you would have come out with a profit so it seems there is no banker bet quite like a Barça win.  Of course the bookies are aware of this and are offering horribly low odds (Pinnacle about the best at 1.32). With a combined average of 4.84 goals per game between these two sides this season, looking at the over bets seems the most reasonable option, over 3.5 looks a stretch but with odds just over evens, it may be worth the risk. Tottenham v Manchester United Heading to England, Tottenham take on Manchester United in a game that we hope will survive the cold weather battering England right now. Anders Knudsen gives us his thoughts on this match:

This is one of those games where you’re happy as a punter for other options than just who will win the game. Picking a winner here is not easy what so ever. Tottenham surprised at Old Trafford in September by being up 2-0 at half time and winning 3-2. But I’m still not betting Tottenham. The team from London have lost 4 out of their 5 games against teams from the Top-6 and even though 3 of those losses have been away I’m not betting Tottenham. Manchester United then? Well, they’ve won 3 out of 5 against teams from the Top-6 and 2 of those wins are worth picking out. Manchester City as well as Chelsea were beaten away by 3-2 (notice the number of goals) and that’s not an easy task. But still not a bet from me on Manchester United even though there’s a few percentages of value in betting United at odds 2,35 and over when writting this. And the reason for me not betting United are that I’m expecting goals. And at higher value! All 5 of Tottenhams games against teams from the  Top-6 have gone over 2.5 goals – 3 of them over 3.5 goals. There’s been an average of 4.8(!) goals in each of those games. As for United 4 out of their 5 games against teams in the Top-6 have had a minimum of 3 goals in them with an average of 3.8 goals in each. Not to mention a massive 72.7% of Uniteds away games this season have gone over 2.5 goals. The first meeting at Old Trafford had 5 goals in it and 6 of the last 9 meetings in the league between the 2 sides went over 2.5 so my money on what looks to be a fantastic game are put on an over 2.5 goals bet. An alternative could be a 42% (of your total stake) bet on Manchester United and 58% on over 2.5 goals. If 1 correct you’ll make approx. 2% profit and if both 104%.  
That’s a decent appraisal and one I’m not going to go against, the odds for over 2.5 are hovering around 1.63 right now and I don’t expect them to get much better. Selection: Over 2.5 goals. 1.7 at MarathonBet]]>