Barcelona v Bayern Munich – Betting Preview.

After an action-packed first leg in Germany, Munich have all but booked their flights to Wembley, after a resounding 4-0 victory.

It was viewed by many as the changing of the guard, with German football taking over the reins from La Liga as the greatest footballing league in the world.

However, there is still life in the old guard yet, and you can never rule out a side spearheaded by Lionel Messi.

The Catalan side know they need to attack, which means an open game at both ends, which suggests there will be plenty of goals. The 5/4 on offer with Bet365 for over 3 goals looks massive value, considering four or more goals is only 6/5 with Paddy Power.

Barcelona’s defence has been exploited on many occasions this season, and are more likely to be caught short tomorrow with so much emphasis on attack.

This means the both-to-score bet looks relatively safe, but with so little value, there is no point getting involved.


Instead it may pay to side with the wincast special of Lionel Messi to net any-time in a Barcelona victory, at 7/5.

The Argentinian will be out to try and restore his sides credibility, as-well as prove why he is the greatest player in the world.

He was unusually quiet in the first leg, which was swept under the carpet as Munich’s success was primarily focused on, as opposed to Barca, and Messi in particular’s disappointment.

No-one is sure of how Munich will set up and with the German’s renowned for their irresistible attacking displays this season, it seems hard to fathom they will be told to just sit deep and ensure Messi/Iniesta can’t get their foot on the ball.

However, it may be what happens, and that could turn out to be a very dangerous tactic if true, as if anyone can break a side down from 30 yards inwards, it’s Barcelona.

You can never discount them at the Nou Camp, and as they showed against AC Milan earlier in the competition, they are able to do their best work when little is expected of them.

No pressure means that the side can go and play with no restrictions, and although they are (arguably) defensively weak, and likely to concede, they should still manage to get a few goals in front of a loud home crowd.

The 3-1 scoreline appeals at odds of 14/1 with Stan James, and I’m sure it’s one that will shorten before the off, with other firms offering much shorter prices.


1 point: Over 3 goals – 5/4 @ Bet365

1 point: Messi/Barcelona (Wincast) – 7/5 @ Stan James

0.5 points: Barcelona 3-1 – 14/1 @ Stan James

2013 = +31.71

Liverpool v Chelsea – betting preview in association with BetVictor.

Rafael Benitez returns to Anfield for the first time since leaving Liverpool in 2010.

It will be a strange atmosphere for Rafa who will most likely receive a better reception from the home crowd, than his own set of fans.

Since Rafa was last in the dugout for this fixture, Liverpool have won four of the games, and drew one, does this bode well for the red men?

On the pitch, it is all set to be a tight affair, with Chelsea going all out to try and secure a Champions League spot, from fellow London rivals Arsenal and Spurs.

Liverpool’s only remaining hope of a successful season is to finish above rivals Everton, and know that home wins are imperative to make that happen.

It won’t be easy for the reds with Chelsea looking to finish the season on a high following their exit from the F.A Cup, whilst still maintaining one eye on Europe.

Fernando Torres has looked a completely different player over the last month, as his confidence is growing, seemingly after putting on his mask.

It’s transformed him, and he has regained the ability to attack defences in the way he did when gracing the turf at Anfield many years ago.

He knows the weaknesses of the centre-half duo of Agger and Carragher, having trained with them for so long.

It would be no surprise to see Torres on the score-sheet, and the 7/1 for the Spaniard to net first looks on the large side, having previously had so much success in this fixture previously (albeit on the other side). 21/10 for him to net any-time is big enough to tempt us in to a small saver, and it all looks set for Rafa and Torres to team up again to devilish effect at Anfield once more.

There is sure to be goals in the game, with a draw being no good for either side, so the 4/5 for over 2.5 appeals massively.

Both defences have had their troubles in the past, and although Liverpool’s consecutive clean-sheets look promising, you have to take into account they were against West Ham and Reading, who haven’t got the most potent attacks.

Whereas Chelsea have an attack-minded back-four, who tend to go walkabout when their side have possesion leaving themselves exposed to the counter-attacking threat of Liverpool, with the pace of Sturridge, and trickery of Suarez and Coutinho.

Liverpool v Chelsea very rarely disappoints and the 15/1 for a 2-2 draw, makes the most appeal in the correct score market.

Advice to back with BetVictor:

1 point win: Fernando Torres FGS @ 7/1 

1 point win: Fernando Torres any-time @ 21/10

2 points: Over 2.5 goals @ 4/5 

0.5 points: 2-2 correct score @ 15/1


2013: +24.61

Bet Victor’s suggestions on how to win the US Masters

Bet Victor are renowned for their incredible special offers on major sporting events, and the US Masters is no different.

They have trumped other market competitors by offering an incredible special for anyone who is contemplating having a punt on this weeks big event.

Only at Bet Victor will you find the special offer of receiving your money back of up to £50 per person/household if Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy win the US Masters!

This means that you can be free to back your outsiders in the knowledge that you will be receiving your stake back if either of the two main contenders land the prize at Augusta this week.

So enjoy the four days, and if it comes to the final day and you’re choices are without a chance, make sure you get behind Tiger or Rory to retrieve your money for the week!

Now we’ve got your attention, and you’re contemplating who to back, have a look at Bet Victor’s guide on how to win a Masters..

Follow the trends and best of luck for the week.


US Masters 2013 – Tips

The opening segment of this week’s post about the 2013 US Masters comes from my course-mate  and golf fanatic Matthew Southcombe.

The Welshman cleaned up at the Ryder Cup, so I have drafted him in, in the hope of making us all some money on the big event in America this week.

There are plenty of offers around if you care to shop about, however if you are fancying a bigger priced bet but scared that the front two in the market could snatch it, in Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, make sure you have a bet with Bet Victor.

They are offering money back of up to £50 back if Tiger or Rory win, on any pre-tournament bets on the big event. This looks a safer option if your player is only a couple of points shorter with the firm, as effectively you also have the front two in the market going with you, for free.


Matt Kuchar 37/1 Betfair

I can’t believe Kuchar’s price is so big!

Kuchar is currently 3rd in the FedEx Cup standings following his win at the WGC Accenture Mactchplay back in February. The Butch Harmon student hasn’t missed a cut all year and has 3 top 10’s out of 7 starts.

The Floridian has proved he has what it takes to hold his own at the major championships. Last season he came T9 at the Open Championship and came T3 at Augusta behind winner Bubba Watson and 2nd place Louis Oosthuizen.

I’m a firm believer that to win at Augusta you need to be hitting fairways, but Kuchar never misses a cut (just 1/22 cuts missed last season) and if you’re there at the weekend, anything can happen.

Justin Rose 22/1 Betfair

U.S. Open Golf Practice Round June 15,  2011

Rose is the finished article with a fantastic, repeatable swing. The Englishman is 18th in the FedEx Cup thanks to no missed cuts from 4 starts this season, he also has 4 top 25’s with 3 top 10’s.

He also has the winning feeling this season after being part of the Lake Albany team that won the Tavistock Cup in March.

The 32-year-old has worked his way to number 3 in the world and last year he finished T8 at Augusta and T3 in the PGA Championship. He also played a big part in the European Ryder Cup success, canning a huge putt on the final day at 17, proving he can do it on the big stage.

Finally in a recent interview at Bay Hill I got the impression that Rose believes he can beat Tiger, and he can.

Keegan Bradley 33/1 Bet365

I’m usually not Bradley’s biggest fan, something about him really bugs me, but there’s no denying the guy can play.

He didn’t really perform too well in the majors last year but managed to get himself T3 at glory’s last shot.

The man from Vermont proved he has what it takes on the big stage by winning the WGC Bridgestone Invitational last season, he also won 3 out of 4 points on his Ryder Cup debut.

His season has come alive in recent weeks claiming 4 top 10’s in his last 4 starts and has the 11th best scoring average this year on the PGA Tour.

The man has some serious game and I reckon he’s a solid each way bet.

Those selections were courtesy of Mr Southcombe, and now I am going to add my own for anyone who fancies sticking with me!

My Selections:

Charl Schwartzel – 29/1 Betfair

charl schwartzel

Schwartzel has really been on top of his game of late, with his last four starts on the European Tour returning a first, a second, a third and a fourth placed finish.

His final round 75 eradicated any chances he had when last seen in America, but when you take into account, that is his worst strokeplay finish so far this calendar year, it makes the 29/1 seem a marvelous price.

He has a sensational record in Majors, with a run of seven consecutive top 18 finishes.

He landed the US Masters two years ago and arrives to Augusta in better form, and arguably a better player than when he won it. All points towards a big challenge from the South African.

Angel Cabrera – 125/1 William Hill

The ageing Argentinian has a fine record at Augusta including five top 10 finishes in the Masters, with the highlight being his victory in 2009.

His long, straight drives are key to his success at the course, and although his form has not been great as of late, he always seems to make sure he enters early April in top condition for a crack at the big prize.

Matt Southcombe’s advice:

1 point win: Matt Kuchar – 37/1 (Betfair)

1 point win: Justin Rose – 22/1 (Betfair)

0.5 points e.w: Keegan Bradley – 33/1 (Bet365)

My advice:

0.5 point win – Charl Schwartzel – 29/1 (Betfair)

2 points win: Charl Schwartzel – Top 10 finish – 11/5 (Stan James)

0.25 win – Angel Cabrera – 125/1 (William Hill)

0.25 win – Angel Cabrera – Top 10 finish – 8/1 (Ladbrokes)

Here is a link to Matt Southcombe’s sports blog:

2013: +25.11

The Grand National.

It’s that time of year when betting shops see an unusual surge in attendance, as the nation gathers to place their yearly bets on the worlds biggest steeplechase.

As 40 runners depart into the Merseyside wilderness, the world holds it’s collective breath as they maraud down to the opening fence, clutching their betting slips with more hope than expectation.

In a 21 year life, I have only ever managed to back the winner of the race twice (Red Marauder and Amberleigh House), yet that never stops me coming back every year, with the mindset that I have finally found ‘the one’.

Aintree 2

I get more texts in the days leading up to the Grand National, than I do for the rest of the year combined usually, with my racing knowledge deemed worthy for one race a year.

Hopefully I won’t let you all down!

Anyways, on with the racing, and as there are 40 runners, I won’t bore you with low-downs of each horses strengths and weakness, I will simply highlight what I believe the first four home will be.


Evan Williams’ 11yo was fourth in the race last year, and has been laid out for another crack at the big prize.

He has finished second on his two starts this term, pleasing his trainer with both runs.

Connections know what it takes to run a big race, after State of Play was placed in three nationals with Paul Maloney on board, as-well as Cappa’s fourth place last year.

Cappa Bleu’s run was impeded several times and he looked as though he would struggle to land any sort of blow, before staying on best of all on the flat, eventually knuckling down and staying on for fourth.

He manages to get into the race on a relatively low weight of 10 stone 11lbs, which he should be able to carry comfortably.

His jumping is impeccable, and if he manages to avoid trouble tomorrow, his jumping strength, tied in with his stamina and connections’ nous of making sure their mounts run a big race, the 12/1 on offer looks incredible value.


Katie Walsh’s mount finished third last year, and will be hoping to go two better, as he lines up once more.

The Ted Walsh trained 10yo looked the likely winner last year, before fading up the run in.

The 75 yards less to run this year, will definitely play in to his hands, and he looks to have a real chance of allowing Walsh to become the first female jockey to ever land the Grand National.

A close third in a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse last time out is solid form, and it would be no surprised to see the gelding go off as favourite come Saturday afternoon.

A solid jumper, a great relationship with his jockey and a slightly shortened trip suggest a big run is expected from Seabass and he can fill up one of the places.


Owners of the 9yo turned down a six-figure sum for their only horse last month which in itself shows just how much potential they think he has.

He has already beaten leading fancy Cappa Bleu this season, albeit when the latter was in need of the run. However this is solid form, and Donald McCain’s gelding has since had a wind operation which has helped considerably.

The 9yo landed the Grade 2 Rendlesham at Haydock on his only run since the operation, and the manner of his success suggested the step up in trip is likely to suit.

He tends to lead from the front, which is the best place to be in the national, in an attempt to keep away from the carnage that a faller would bring to the middle of the pack.

Trainer Donald McCain knows what it takes to get a horse right for the big race, having done so with Ballabriggs in 2011.

40/1 looks too big to ignore, and is sure to receive some each-way interest before the race begins.


Gordon Elliot’s charge will be hoping to carry on the success of grey horses in the race, after Neptune Collonges finally got rid of the voodoo last year.

The 10yo never really managed to get into the race last year, as he was brought down at the fifth fence, but will be hoping for a big run come Saturday.

He was last seen landing a Grade 2 at Navan, staying on best of all to beat a high-class trio.

The form of the race has worked out extremely well as the runner-up since come out and landed a Grade 2 himself.

Chicago Grey’s form is rock solid, and with Paul Carberry on board, the stylish jockey is sure to give the grey his best chance of winning.

A low weight of 10 stone 7 lbs, strengthens his case further and it would be no surprise to see the 10yo make the frame.

Overall Prediction:

1st: Cappa Bleu (12/1)

2nd: Seabass (10/1)

3rd: Across the Bay (40/1)

4th: Chicago Grey (14/1)


1 point e.w: Cappa Bleu @ 12/1 (Various)


2013: +23.11

Grand National – Ladies Day

Hoping to improve on a poor showing yesterday, tomorrow’s selections look a safe short priced treble.

My Tent or Yours ran well at Cheltenham when pushing Champagne Fever all the way in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when well backed in the opener.

This form is by far the best in the race and he should take all the beating.

His main competition comes in the form of Forgotten Voice who looks a likely improver, and skipped Cheltenham for a crack at the Aintree prize.

However he will have to improve a lot to challenge Tony McCoy’s mount, who will be aiming to land the prize in memory of last year’s winner Darlan, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

The second horse of the treble is another Cheltenham runner-up Dynaste. He ran below his best when second behind Benefficient in the Jewson a the festival, at a distance that is shorter than ideal.

The step back up tomorrow should play into his hands, as the grey’s high cruising speed will be a massive advantage in being able to delay his move that extra bit longer.

He is a magnificent jumper and stays all-day, so should be able to outclass his opponents, with the main threat coming from Paul Nicholls’ Rocky Creek.

The final member of our trio needs no introduction.. Sprinter Sacre.

What is likely to be the highlight of many people’s week, will commence at 3:05 tomorrow when ‘The Black Aeroplane’ clashes with Ireland’s main hope in Flemenstar, and Ryanair winner Cue Card.

Sprinter Sacre looks set to prove he is the real deal, and cement his place as the greatest thoroughbred around.

It will be a privilege to witness him, and it would be marvellous if he could bring up or Ladies Day treble.


2 points treble: My Tent or Yours/Dynaste/Sprinter Sacre – 4.17/1 (Various)

2013: +14.77

Grand National Meeting – Day of Redemption

It’s that time of year again, when the nation unites for it’s annual bet on the most valuable steeplechase in Europe.

But before then comes two quality day’s of high-class racing, beginning with the Aintree Hurdle on Thursday.


It looks set to be a day of redemption for two fallers at the Cheltenham Festival, with Grandouet being my first selection of the meeting.

Nicky Henderson’s 6yo was arguably travelling best of all in the Champion Hurdle before crashing out at the fifth fence, and will be looking to make amends in the Grade One on Merseyside.

His only previous run of the season was a respectable second behind Zarkandar, making his re-appearance after a 371 day lay off.

He was clearly in need of a the run and looked to have came on a lot for it at Cheltenham. He was brought down at Aintree two years ago, when travelling best of all in a race won by Zarkandar, and the fact that Barry Geraghty has deserted Oscar Whisky who has won the race for the previous two years, is a tip in itself.

Both Henderson and Geraghty know what it takes to land the big race, and look set to have just a bit too much class for the young pretender that is the New One.

The New One has to be respected after showing such a brilliant turn of foot to land the Neptune at Cheltenham, as-well as already having course form in the book, after landing the bumper at this meeting last year.

Geraghty will likely sit behind Twiston-Davies on board the New One and stalk his prey, as the race is set up in front by the gutsy Zarkandar.

Countrywide Flame re-appears after his respectable third in the Champion Hurdle and holds solid each-way claims, while dual winner Oscar Whisky will have to put his Cheltenham run behind him if he is to have any chance.

This all points towards Grandouet having a major chance, with the 4/1 on offer looking great value.

The second horse seeking redemption is Silviniaco Conti in the the Betfred Bowl.

Paul Nicholls’ gelding held every chance in the Gold Cup when falling three out, and would’ve almost certainly been troubling the eventual winner Bobs Worth.

It is hard to say whether he would have gone on to win, but that piece of form would’ve been by far the best coming into this race anyway, and he is currently trading as Even money favourite.

He had won his previous four races before the Gold Cup, including a dominant performance in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at this meeting last year, which has been his only visit to the Merseyside track.

The Walsh/Nicholls combination has not had much luck lately, but this race looks made for the 7yo tp get back to winning ways,

Ryanair second, First Lieutenant re-appears, but will be without jockey Davy Russell who is still not allowed to ride in the UK following an injury picked up at Cheltenham.

The 8yo had a tough race last time out and the step back up in trip is unsure to suit, so there seems to be better each-way alternatives, including Quito De La Roque who is also owned by Gigginstown Stud.

He has a 100% record when ridden by Paul Townend, and also has solid course form after landing the Mildmay at the course in 2011.

There is question marks about whether or not he performs better at shorter distances, but the gelding never fails to travel like a dream, and the longer Townend can keep him on the bridle, the better chance he has.

The Giant Bolster, Cape Tribulation and Menorah all has slight each-way chances, but will need to pull out something special if they are to match Silviniaco Conti.

Usually there seems to be little point in advising an Even money shot, so we can combine the two selections together into a tasty double to kick-start our Aintree meeting.


1 point double: Grandouet/Silviniaco Conti – 9/1 (Various)

2013: +15.77