New poster

A good contact is going to post additionally on this blog looking at matches. This is very close to being late so I’ll post this and will keep track of this all. I hope it is useful.

Derby v Blackpool

There’s been a big move on Blackpool this afternoon after opening up at 8/5 they are now a bet price of 11/8.

  • Both teams have scored in all 9 of Blackpool’s last 9 games (home and away) so the over 2.5 goals in an attractive bet. I prefer this to both teams to score as
  • Derby failed to score against Leicester and Reading in their last two run outs at home.
  • Blackpool have won their last three away games 3-1
  • 11 of last 12 Blackpool away games have had O2.5 goals

3 points over 2.5 goals – 10/11 coral
1 point Blackpool 3-1 – 22/1 ladbrokes


Carlisle v Rochdale

Carlisle have an excellent home record, where as Rochdale are very weak away from home, 8th v 23rd in the table.

  • Carlisle haven’t lost at home since 10th September,  12  games unbeaten at home
  • Rochdale’s last victory away from Spotland came 9 games ago, a 1-0 win over Preston
  • In the last 8 away games, Rochdale have scored one goal, with one 1-1 and three 0-0.

3 points Carlisle -0.25 on Asian Handicap at 1.78 with 188bet


MK Dons v Yeovil

  • MK Dons home games average 3.1 goals whilst Yeovil away games average 2.8 goals
  • The 8 home and away games for Yeovil have seen both teams score
  • Yeovil have scored 8 goals in their last 4 away games
  • MK Dons scored 9 goals in their last 4 home games

2 points Both teams to score – 5/6 coral


Swindon v Dag and Red

Swindon have an amazing home record winning their last 8 home games. Swindon’s away record is poor, only one away win in their last 14 away games. Rather than back Swindon at 2/5 there is some value on the correct score market.

  • Four of Swindon’s last 8 home wins have finished 2-0

1 point Swindon 2-0 – 11/2 with Coral

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Xavi – The real Ballon D’or?

When Messi won the Ballon D’or for the third time last week he dedicated it to Xavi and in my opinion rightly so. When I came to Spain 6 years ago I thought Xavi was overated and slowed down all the Barcelona attacks. I couldn’t have been more wrong and much as I dislike Barça I love to see him play.

His achievements over the past few years have been staggering. Puyol and Iniesta have done the same but Xavi is always there and has not had the injuries of the other two and maintained his consistency. Reak Madrid won the league in the 2007-08 season but once that ended this is what he has achieved in the past 3 years:

European Champions (Spain) 08

Spanish League 08/09

Spanish Cup 08/09

Champions League 08/09

FIFA Club World Cup 09

Spanish League 09/10

World Cup (Spain) 10

Spanish League 10/11

Champions League 10/11

FIFA World Club Cup 11

He is rarely injured and for all the hype about Leo Messi he was poor in the world cup. He did have an incompetent manager but Xavi did the same job for Spain as he does for his club and led them to the title. His consistency has to be applauded and it’s a shame he probably just missed out on the last chance he had of getting the recognition he deserves. He turns 32 this month and the demands of the modern game mean he might have 2 or 3 more seasons left. People may argue he can play on like Giggs has but Giggs has been used sparingly by Ferguson and Xavi needs to be in the centre of the pitch controlling all the action.

I wrote an article for the Betting School last month and came across some interesting stats as I was looking at how teams perform when certain players play. The information I found persuaded me to write this post as last seasonXavi started in 15 Barcelona home matches and they won every single one. He missed 4 games and they won 1 of those but also drew with Real Mallorca and Deportivo, who were relegated and also lost to Hercules who also went down. So 45 points from a possible 45 when he started and 5 from a possible 12 when he didn’t.

His record was not so good oustanding when Barça were away from home but I think those home stats show his true worth. I think the achievements Xavi has made with Spain and Barcelona make him the real star of the last few years. It’s a shame he gets on his high horse about the way Barça play but when he’s gone they will miss the true conductor and I believe in the next couple of years will need to find a new style as without Xavi the tiki-taka will not be the same.