World Cup 2014 – Ante-post Selections

At the time of writing it is 185 days until the World Cup begins in Brazil. This means we have plenty of time to rack our brains, trying to select what look ‘absolute certs’, and watch the monster gambles unfold.

There are plenty of perils of ante-post gambling, yet the lure of watching your selection get shorter and shorter in the betting is something that we can never escape. There are plenty of stories of gamblers sitting on three figure prices for Belgium to win the competition, as-well as monster bets on the Columbian’s to reign supreme this summer.

However, it is not too late to get involved, and there is still plenty of value to be had.

Bark-ing up the right tree;

Let’s start with England, and the selection headache that Roy Hodgson looks set to face when sitting down to select his 23-man squad for Brazil.

The ‘to make England 2014 World Cup squad’ has been a popular market so far, and there is a surprising amount of disparity between bookmakers, with many seemingly having different squads in mind.

The battle to get on the plane looks intense for the batch of centre-midfielders Hodgson has at his disposal, with Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere, Carrick, Cleverley, Barkley, Henderson, Morrison etc. all vying for realistically, five places.

This has meant that Ross Barkley has been pushed out to a surprisingly large 3/1 with William Hill to make Hodgson’s World Cup squad, in comparison to the 11/10 on offer with Paddy Power.

He has been played as a ‘number ten’ at times for Everton, excelling in the hole behind the striker as opposed to an out and out centre-midfielder, which automatically enhances his chances of getting on the plane, as versatility is key when there are so few places. His direct running and fearless nature are big assets to have when coming against such lorded opposition, and his style of play looks set to fit well with fellow Liverpudlian, Wayne Rooney.

barkley

With Everton continually surprising people, more and more people are taking note of his performances, and if he can continue his rich vein of form, he will certainly have to be on the short-list.

Gerrard can’t escape his hamstring troubles, and with Manchester United seemingly struggling of late, Tom Cleverley could come under serious pressure for his place on the plane. This does make the 3/1 for Barkley to book his ticket, rather large.

Straight Forecast Treble;

Predicting the winner of many of the group’s looks difficult, let alone  the top two in the correct order. However the odds on offer mean it is a difficult bet to get away from, and one that could prove very rewarding.

Group B has been heralded the ‘group of death’, with Chile and Australia joining the 2010 World Cup finalists Spain and Holland, to battle out for a place in the next round.

Spain are currently trading at 7/1 to win the tournament outright, which is the largest they have been for a long time. With Barcelona failing to light-up like they used to, with Pique, Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas looking leggy of late, the price is drifting to a rather attractive one.

They should have enough class to see off Holland and Australia, and while Chile will run them close, the 5/6 on offer for Spain to top Group B looks extremely tempting.

This means realistically it is between Holland and Chile for second place, and it may well pay to side with the South Americans.

A magnificent pressing game, mixed with a batch of flair players with tremendous technical ability mean they are going to be very hard to contain. They are already adept at playing in the climate, and with a large contingent of South American fans, they may well prove too strong for an aging Dutch side who flopped at the last major international competition.

Key man Alexis Sanchez adores the limelight, and he can guide Chile to second place, meaning the 4/1 for the Spain/Chile forecast goes into our treble.

The next selection comes from Group D, where England line up against Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica.

Uruguay will have an advantage over the other two real competitors in the group (sorry Costa Rica), as humidity, South American fans and sheer skill on the pitch should guide Uruguay to top of the group. Luis Suarez is fantastic, and if he stays fit he should have a sensational tournament, meaning the 21/10 for them to win the group looks tasty, as their defensive frailties shouldn’t be tested too much as neither England or Italy are renowned as excessively attacking sides.

Then, it looks set between Italy and England to battle for the runner-up spot. Italy are favorites to win the group outright following on from their unbeaten qualifying campaign (winning six, drawing four), and fantastic performance in the Euro’s where they finished runner-up. Andrea Pirlo and Gigi Buffon are still fantastic players, however they are not getting any younger.

Mario Balotelli is one of the most inconsistent players on the planet, and if he puts his mind to it, he could be one of the greatest around. However there are two sides to Mario and England will be going all out to rattle him, and attempt to get him out of his comfort zone. The fact that there is no real expectation on the English will only benefit them, and the mix of young fearless individuals mixed with a seasoned spine of model English consistency should mean England will be able to contain Italy in the opener, and then it comes down to the final game against Costa Rica.

Costa Rica will be comfortable in conditions, but do lack the quality of their group opposition, and with England’s attacking threats, they should have what it takes to gain the vital goal difference, which is what it may well be decided on. Uruguay/England forecast pays 11/2, and is the second leg of the treble.

The final selection comes from Group C, where Colombia line-up against Japan, Ivory Coast and Greece.

The South American’s are ranked third in the World, according to FIFA, and should prove their class against slightly lesser opposition. Falcao, Martinez and Rodriguez are three class-acts and should guide their side to top of the group.

Then it is seemingly between Ivory Coast and Japan to battle for second. Japan have looked brilliant in qualifying, and in their recent friendlies however the smart money will be siding with Ivory Coast to get out of the group.

Many will be familiar to Premier League fans, with Bony, the Toure’s and Tiote still in England, whilst Gervinho and Drogba are recent departures. They are a magnificent unit and their attacking threat should see them get out of their group for the first time in their history.

The 100/30 for Columbia/Ivory Coast forecast completes our bet and rewards us with a 139.83/1 treble.

Top Goalscorer;

In terms of the top goalscorer market, you have to find the right balance of a weak defensive group and a player in a side that are likely to have a deep run in the competition.

Group F consists of Argentina, Bosnia, Nigeria and Iran. You would have to expect Argentina to qualify comfortably, and with that they should be able to capitalise on the rather weak back four’s of Iran and Nigeria in particular.

sergio aguero

This means that it would make sense to side with one of the Argentinian forwards, and it is up to personal opinion on who to select out of a shortlist of Messi, Higuain and Aguero.

Messi has never really done it in a big international tournament, so he will be out to silence doubters that he is the greatest to ever live, and answer the questions about his international form. Higuain got more game time than Aguero in qualifying, playing eleven games to Aguero’s eight, scoring four more goals in the process.

However given Aguero’s form for Manchester City this season, and likeliness to carry on improving in a side that looks set to go very close to winning the Premier League, he is sure to get the nod come the summer.

This makes the 20/1 for him to finish top goalscorer, extremely tempting, given the creative players he will line up beside. Argentina are sure to have a deep run in the tournament, with conditions in their favour, and the fact they have such a magnificent side means the 40/1 on offer for Aguero to land the top scorer prize and Argentina to win the World Cup, is tempting enough to have a small interest bet on.

Selections;

Ross Barkley to make the England World Cup squad @ 3/1 – William Hill

Straight Forecast Group Treble; Spain/Chile, Uruguay/England, Colombia/Ivory Coast @ 139.83/1 – Ladbrokes

Sergio Aguero to be top goalscorer @ 20/1 – Various

Sergio Aguero top goalscorer & Argentina to win the World Cup @ 50/1 – BetVictor

York Ebor Festival – Day Three Advice

A sensational day two of the Ebor festival, with none of our selections losing! (albeit two non-runners..)

Day three looks arguably the most competitive day of the week, and there are two selections which look worthy of having significant financial interest rested on their hooves.

The first comes in the feature race of the day, the Nunthorpe Stakes. Favourite Shea Shea looks as solid as they come, coming off the back of two fine efforts on these shores.

Mike de Kock’s charge plied his trade to great effect in South Africa and Meydan, before embarking on a campaign in Britain, starting with two fine efforts, a close second at Royal Ascot, and fourth in the July Cup when ridden from too far off the pace.

He is 5 from 7 at five furlongs, and back at his optimum trip he will take all the beating. Frankie Dettori takes over from Cristophe Soumillon in the saddle, and the flashy Italian looks set to reinvigorate the colt back to Group One success and finally deliver Mike de Kock the big race he deserves on these shores.

The 4/1 looks too big to ignore, and it would be surprise to see the colt go off around the 5/2, 11/4 mark come Friday afternoon.

The other selection on the penultimate day of the Ebor festival is another resting on the shoulders of Mr Dettori, with Ebn Arab in the final race on the card.

Charlie Hills’ colt looked set to be embarking on a big career when running away with a maiden on the Knavesmire last year.

He was sent off second favourite for both the Acomb and the Somerville Tattersall stakes, slightly disappointing in both before landing a conditions stakes at Doncaster at the first time of asking this term.

He was outclassed at Doncaster behind a potential superstar Montiridge, so there is no disgrace in that, and although his last run when sent off 50/1 in the Britannia Stakes, was rather flat, he still comes into the race with plenty of scope for improvement.

This race looks set to take a lot less ability to go close, and if he has maintained his 2yo ability, or even improved slightly, he has the opportunity to make a mockery of his mark and 25/1 looks far too big to ignore.

Advice:

2 points win: Shea Shea @ 4/1 (Betfair)

1 point e.w: Ebn Arab @ 25/1 (Betvictor)

 

 

Premier League – Opening Day Advice

Finally, after an excruciating long summer without football, the Premier League returns, and with it, an opportunity to win some money to make Match of the Day even sweeter.

There’s nothing worse than conceding an injury time equaliser, to ruin your acca (apart from Garth Crooks), but on the flip-side, there is nothing sweeter than hearing Jeff screaming “there’s been a goal at the Emirates!”, when waiting on Arsenal for the last leg of a tasty treble.

Swings and roundabouts, and there are plenty of ups and downs to be expected over the coming season, but hopefully we can start with a profit.

Under/Over treble;

I’ve never put up any predictions about over/under 2.5 goals before, but looking at the prices this weekend, there seems to be some brilliant value floating around.

Liverpool kick-off the new season versus Stoke in the early kick-off, and the last two games at Anfield between the two sides have finished 0-0.

Liverpool always seem to start the season slowly, but should have enough firepower to see off a Stoke side that will take a while to adjust to the new playing style of Mark Hughes.

I can’t see Stoke troubling new boy Simon Mignolet too much, and a 2-0 victory for the reds looks a solid prediction. However, you can never be too confident on Liverpool bagging too many goals against the Potters, and the under 2.5 goals price at Evens looks a solid bet to add to the multiple.

Swansea v Manchester United is the late kick-off on the opening day, and we can expect goals galore at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea have had the benefit of being back in competitive action earlier than most, with the Europa League qualifying having already commenced.

They looked solid, with new-boys Wilfried Bony and Jonjo Shelvey linking up well with one of the finds of the season Michu. They will cause a rather worried David Moyes some problems, and with United’s pre-season being rather mixed, it would be no surprise to see Swansea bag a couple.

Burnley v Manchester United - Premier League

However a side with Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney in will always score goals, so the safe option is to side with over 2.5, and just enjoy the game, which looks set to be a cracker. 4/5 is a fair price, and is worthy of going in the multiple.

The final leg of the over/under treble is the West Brom v Southampton game, which looks set to have plenty of action.

The Baggies’ new signing, Nicolas Anelka will be looking to get off the mark straight away, and with new England front-man, Rickie Lambert on the opposite side, there looks to be goals in the offing.

Both are rather attacking sides, and will be a bit slow defensively earlier on in the season. It is worth risking the front-men being able to stick away the chances they are sure to get. 10/11,. tots up the over/under treble to 5.87/1, and adds a bit of interest during the televised games.

Opening Day BTTS & Win double;

Norwich entertain Everton at three o’clock, and the Blues has been in great form pre-season, showing they can match it with the big boys over in America. Kevin Mirallas looks like he is set for a massive season, and he can lead Everton to an opening day victory at Carrow Road.

Roberto Martinez seems to have fazed in his new passing style seamlessly during the season, and has a solid back four to base it off. Coleman and Baines are arguably the best full-back pairing in the league on their day, and both are set to go on to bigger things unless Everton step up and mount a European challenge this year.

fellaini

Norwich have signed well, but still lack defensive depth and a central midfielder to run the show. This is where Everton can take advantage on Saturday, and with Fellaini pulling the strings in the centre, Everton should just have enough to see off the challenge of Chris Hughton’s men.

It’s worth taking advantage of Ladbrokes’ 18/5 about Everton to win, with both teams scoring.

Add this with Manchester United to beat Swansea, with both teams scoring at 11/4 and we have a 16.25/1 double that is extremely enticing.

Any-time scorer treble;

Theo Walcott looked in good nick for England in midweek, getting himself on the score-sheet, and he can replicate this come Saturday, against a rather week Aston Villa defence.

walcott

He is 5/4 to net any-time, and with his pace like to cause the Villa back-four problems all afternoon, he looks good value to start the season with a bang.

Kevin Mirallas can also carry on his pre-season form by getting his name on the score-sheet at the first time of asking. The Belgian has gone from strength-to-strength since arriving in the Premier League, and has excelled under the guidance of Roberto Martinez, slotting in to the fluid formation with great ease.

Employed as a wide-man, Mirallas is keen to link up with the lone striker, and this means the 5/2 about him netting looks a decent prospect.

Tottenham have brought in Roberto Soldado to bolster their attack, and mount a challenge for top-four next season, and he will start his campaign away at Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.

He has strength, and a sharp finish and although he won’t be used to the physical presence that Palace offer, he had the ability to be able to adapt quickly.

He is set to be penalty taker for Spurs, which could come in handy Sunday, and at 5/4 it’s worth adding him to our any-time trio, which will hopefully result in us having a bit of interest come Sunday.

Advice:

1 point treble (Over/Under 2.5 goals): Liv/Stoke – Under, Swa/MU, WBA/South – Over @ 5.87/1 (William Hill)

1 point double: Everton to beat Norwich & BTTS, Manchester United to beat Swansea & BTTS @ 16.25/1 (Ladbrokes)

1 point treble (any-time scorer): Walcott/Mirallas/Soldado @ 16.72/1 (BetVictor)

Glorious Goodwood – Day One Advice

The ‘most beautiful racecourse in the world’ plays host to one of the summer’s biggest racing festivals, and it looks set to begin with a bang.

There are plenty of high class horses on show, and the festival begins with a tricky looking handicap. There are too many potential good things to delve into that too deeply, so we begin our week with a strong looking selection in the second race.

Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes always seem to come alive at this time of year, and they are represented by the highly rated Anticipated in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes.

The son of Whipper lost his unbeaten tag in the Windsor Castle when last seen in Britain, finishing a respectable third behind Extortionist, when sent off 4/1 favourite.

He then went to France, finishing the best of the British raiders, in fifth place behind Vorda in the Prix Robert Papin.

This is rock solid form, and the only reason he isn’t favourite is due to Supplicant finishing a short-head in front him in the Windsor Castle. This is set to be more of a tactical affair, and with Hughes’ likely to stalk Ryan Moore on board Supplicant, his finishing kick will be seen to better effect.

The 4/1 looks more than fair, and he looks an each-way certainty.

Now, in our third race on the card, likely favourite Aljamaheer looks a very good horse who could potentially go on to bigger and better things. However there have been plenty of warnings that the colt may not even turn up, unless conditions go his way.

He needs a bit more juice in the ground, and if he doesn’t get enough (which looks likely), there are plenty of better alternatives in the race.

None more so than Producer, who beat the favourite off level weights at Leicester back in April. He receives four pounds on Tuesday, and with  Hannon always seeming to hit top form at this time of the year, another bold run is expected. He is currently 5/1, and that price will be considerably shorter come race time tomorrow.

He has course and distance form in the book, and gets into the race unpenalised following his Group Three win in the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket last time out. Fencing and Garswood are both respected and should give account of themselves, but Richard Hughes’ mount is taken to land the prize.

BetVictor are running a magnificent offer, that will act as a saver to our selections for the entirety of Glorious Goodwood. They are offering your money back as a free bet, if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite in any race during the festival. This means if our selections are pipped by the favourites, the pain will be eased every so slightly. (http://www.betvictor.com/sports/en/2-good)

They have also managed to produce a magnificent guide to Goodwood, which will be on show below my selections. Take a look and it may help sway your selections on top of my advice.

Advice:

2 points win: 2:30 Goodwood: Anticipated @ 4/1 

1 point win: 3:05 Goodwood: Producer @ 5/1

0.5 points e.w double: Anticipated & Producer @ 29/1

Goodwood

 

Confederations Cup Final – Preview With Advice

After a thrilling tournament in Brazil, the final has came down to the two, pre-tournament favourites, Spain and the host national Brazil.

It is the final of dreams for the neutrals, with the level of football on offer set to be sensational, as arguably the two best footballing nations battle it out.

Brazil have home advantage, and that can’t be underestimated as the lively Brazilians cram inside the Estadio Maracana to escape the reality of their protest-hit nation, for ninety minutes of sweet footballing salvation.

They have no injury worries, and Luiz Felipe Scolari looks set to name an unchanged side, from their 2-1 victory over Uruguay last week.

neymar

Fred seems to be hitting a bit of form, bagging three goals in the tournament, including the opener against their south-american rivals in the semi’s.

Brazil have score 22 goals in their last 8 games, and certainly offer the most fire-power going forward, and with Spain’s defence looking slightly vulnerable throughout the tournament (Casillas kept them in it early on v Italy), it may be worth taking a punt on the out and out striker, Fred, to bag the first goal at 15/2.

Spain have looked their usual classy selves, often dominating in terms of possession, but falling short in front of goal (with the exception of Tahiti), often wasting chances that they should have stuck away.

They are content to pass the ball around the midfield, and keep the game in their own hands, but against Brazil that will be hard to manage, with Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho working tirelessly to break up the play, and free the creative talents of Neymar, Hulk and Oscar to launch attacks.

The sides surprisingly haven’t met since 1999, when the result was a mundane 0-0 draw, but with Spain likely to have been affected by the 120 minute marathon with Italy on Thursday evening, in the tough climate, Brazil look set to exploit any signs of fatigue and the over 2.5 goals market looks a definite play.

Surprisingly over 2.5 goals is odds-against, with the layers seeming to think there will be a maximum of two goals. Yet, if Brazil manage to get a goal early on (or vice-versa), the opposition will have to attack, and it will free up plenty of space all-over the pitch, for the quality players to exploit and this is a certain recipe for plenty of goals.

The 6/5 with Coral looks very fair, and should accompany a Brazil win, which is currently trading at 13/8. They are 10/11 to lift the trophy, which of course covers a win in extra-time or penalties, and could be the safer option.

Elsewhere, the third place play-off will be an interesting affair, with the disciplined Italian side, taking on the creative flair of the South-Americans, in the shape of Uruguay.

Italy are often content to sit and pass around their half of the pitch, before attempting to play the killer-pass late on, whereas Uruguay are often a brilliant counter-attacking side.

It should be a really entertaining game, but ‘open’ isn’t one way I would describe it, and the under 2.5 market could be a play here, with the current 11/10 on offer looking great value.

Italy drew a blank against Spain, and without Gilardino or Ballotelli, they look set to come up short in the attacking third once more.

El Sharaawy looks an intriguing talent, but I wouldn’t be entirely confident on him as a lone striker, at this stage in his career, and the attacking trio of Cavani, Suarez and Forlan look set to have things their on way on Sunday evening.

Uruguay to win 2-0, looks a likely scoreline, and it 16/1 it may be worth a small punt.

South Americans look set to reign supreme on an evening that will captivate the audience, and provide a much needed football fix to the millions around the world, who can’t wait for the football season to get back underway.

Advice:

Brazil & Uruguay double: 1 point @ 5.56/1 (Coral)

Fred to score first: 1 point @ 15/2 (BetVictor)

Over 2.5 (Brazil), Under 2.5 (Uruguay) double: 3.62/1 (Coral)

Brazil 2-1, Uruguay 2-0: 0.5 points double @ 186/1 (William Hill)

 

 

 

Royal Ascot 2013

It’s that time of year again, when the Royal’s pay a visit to the Berkshire racecourse, and the country comes together to toast champagne, and chow down on fresh strawberries as they watch the greatest thoroughbreds around battle it out.

Many see it as a day out, an important date in the social calender.. but for many, it’s five of the greatest racing days around, with Group One action taking place every day.

There are plenty of trends to follow, and dress-codes to abide by, so our good friends at BetVictor have very kindly pulled together a graphic, highlighting the big race trends, and important facts to take into consideration when having a punt.

I will be previewing all of the big races the evening before each-day, and hopefully we can make it a profitable week.

http://horseracing.betvictor.com/royal-ascot-2013/

Royal Ascot Graphic

2013 US Open Tips

Another great spectacle in the Golfing calender tees off this week, with the second major of the season, the US Open, taking centre stage at Merion.

All the big players are in attendance, and whilst Tiger Woods is likely to be the pick of most, following his win in the Players Championship, but at 4/1 he looks a little too short for your average punter on what is a wide-open event.

Fortunately for us, BetVictor are very kindly offering a quarter of the odds, and placings down to seventh place, as opposed to the top five with other major bookmakers.

This means we can look for value, and there seems to be one player who is rather overpriced, at 22/1.

GRAEME MCDOWELL (22/1)

My main selection for the event is the in-form Northern Irishman, Graeme McDowell.

He is in tremendous form, having notched up victories in the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, before going to land the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria.

His record in the US Open is exemplary, having never missed the cut in seven appearances in the second major of the golfing calendar.

Since 2009, his record in the competition reads, eighteenth, first, fourteenth, second, so you have to question why the 33-year-old’s odds are as big as they are.

He was exuding confidence in a recent interview, which is important at such a course. Confidence is needed in your own game, if you are to be at home on what can be a difficult course.

“You could say I’m in the form of my life going into an event in which my record kind of speaks for itself.”

McDowell’s accuracy off the tee, as-well as his short game will be a major factor in his success this week, as the Merion course is renowned as short and tricky, at just  6996 yards.

The Heritage Pro-Am April 20, 2011 Hilton Head, SC

This means his recent quote, when he said: “I would say I’m quite good at acknowledging that par is a great score at the US Open. When that becomes a good score, I’m a decent scrambler. I drive it straight, my iron play is solid and I’m a good putter,” should instill confidence in any punters wanting to invest in GMac.

He rounded off a recent interview by saying: “I feel like I’m a substantially better player than I was three years ago (when he won at Pebble Beach).”

Which points you in the direction if thinking if he manages to step up on his performance at Pebble Beach, it will take something special to stop him. He looks a solid-bet each-way at 22/1 with BetVictor, and he could be a lot shorter come Sunday evening.

However, it often pays to back more than one in these sort of events, as if GMac just so happens to misplace a few on the first day, you don’t want to be having to watch the rest of the three days in angst, knowing you have no chance whatsoever.

My betting strategies always result in me having a ‘saver’ on one of the leading contenders to attempt to minimise any potential losses, however this year I am opposing Woods, McIlroy and Scott, which means that the next solid bet on a leading contender, will have to be Matt Kuchar.

MATT KUCHAR – 20/1

Kuch’s strong mentality will be a major strength over the four days at Merion, and his ability to put behind him any mistakes he will make is a great trait to have.

He arrives at Pennsylvania in great form, with a win and a second in his last two appearances on a golf course.

Tie that in with the six top-ten finishes in only fourteen starts in 2013, and you have yourself a real contender.

Verizon Heritage Pro-Am in Hilton Head, SC April 14, 2010

His record in majors is solid, with five top-tens and only a pair of missed cuts since 2010, and this could be a great place for the 35-year-old to finally break his Major duck.

His tee accuracy is what usually lets him down, but with the opportunity for his magnificent short game to take centre stage, he should be in his element, and with him currently sitting at fifth in the PGA Scoring Average (69.739), he looks set for a big week.

That means we have two leading contenders on our side, but like in the Masters when I put up Angel Cabrera at 125/1, it always pays to have a big outsider onside, to make the last couple of days that little bit more interesting.

One good round, and you would be able to lay your bet off, essentially meaning you have a profit/free bet regardless.

This year’s big-priced selection for the US Open is last year’s tied-second Michael Thompson.

MICHAEL THOMPSON – 100/1

The American’s calm demeanor and impeccable short-game mean he enters the US Open with a real chance of going one better than last year’s result.

He ranks top ten in putting from ten to twenty-five feet, which is key to his chances this week, as with the fast and tricky greens, this is a real chance to pick up shots on the field.

His win in the Honda Classic showed his performance last year was no fluke, and his recent performances when finishing top-ten in the WGC Cadillac, and eighth in the incredibly difficult conditions at Muirfield Village when last seen, suggests he is set for another big challenge.

A three figure price looks too big to ignore, and along-side our two leading contenders, they should all hopefully go close.

Advice (All with BetVictor):

1.5 points each-way: Graeme McDowell @ 22/1

0.75 points each-way: Matt Kuchar @ 20/1

0.25 points each-way: Michael Thompson @ 100/1

2013= +30.41

http://sports.betvictor.com/us-open-2013-infographic/

US Open Graphic

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

 Image

2013: +24.61