Jan 7 | Weekend Football Go Head-To-Head
Friday 6 January 11:13 Tweet
Laith, Matt & Frank from Weekend Football go head-to-head with their own personal bets for this weekend's action. Any risk, any market, any competition - the choice is theirs...
Colchester United v Carlisle United - League Two - 3pm
Two of League Two's in-form sides meet at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Saturday as Colchester United host Carlisle United. Colchester are in fantastic form heading into this one, they're unbeaten in their last seven, picking up six wins in that run while winning their last three at home. Carlisle sit in the top three purely down to their ability not to lose games, they're draw specialists this season which may hinder their chances of winning League Two. This one seems a tough one to call for the full-time result market so I'm going for goals. Carlisle have failed to score in just one of their 15 away games this season - keeping just two clean sheets in that run. Colchester have kept just two clean sheets in their last seven games at home, against two sides struggling for form in Crewe & Cheltenham. BTTS - 1/2 at bet365.
Bolton Wanderers v Crystal Palace - FA Cup - 3pm
Sam Allardyce returns to Bolton Wanderers with Crystal Palace on Saturday in the FA Cup 3rd Round. Allardyce needs to pick up his first win as Palace boss and may miss out again this weekend at his old club. Bolton are in superb form at the Macron Stadium, winning their last 10 while Palace are without a win in their last seven away from home. Palace failed to score against Arsenal last time out but that was the first time they've failed to score in an away game in the league since losing 1-0 to Spurs back in September. Palace have scored eight in their last four away games, Bolton have netted in each of their last 10 home games. BTTS takes my pick here - 4/5 at bet365.
Hull City v Swansea City - FA Cup - 3pm
Two sides battling to avoid relegation to the Championship meet at the KCOM Stadium in the FA Cup 3rd Round on Saturday. Hull City have just sacked Mike Phelan, a strange decision given Hull have looked a lot better in recent weeks & are now bringing in a manager in Marco Silvawho doesn't know the league & has a short amount of time to bring in results with a poor squad. Swansea City picked up an important win away at Palace in Paul Clement's first game. Clement knows the league due to his affiliation with Chelsea under Mourinho & Ancelotti, but avoid relegation could still be a tough task. Hull have scored in five of their last six at home, netting nine goals in that run & haven't kept a clean sheet at home this season. Swansea have scored in five of their seven away games - BTTS in Hull v Swansea 7/10 at bet365.
Millwall v Bournemouth - FA Cup - 3pm
We're expecting plenty of goals at The Den as Millwall take on Bournemouth. The Cherries have generally looked pretty poor on their travels this season, picking up just three wins across all comps, losing four of their last six away from home. Bournemouth have netted in four of their last five away from home. Neil Harris' side have won four of their last five at home & could be the way to punt on the double chance if it takes your fancy but BTTS is my bet here, Millwall have netted in five of their last six at home - BTTS 7/10 at bet365.
Cambridge United v Leeds United - FA Cup - Monday 7.45pm
Shaun Derry's Cambridge United are in fantastic form in League Two heading in to their 3rd Round clash against Garry Monk's Leeds United. Cambridge are unbeaten in their last seven games, winning their last four at the Abbey Stadium. Leeds United are in superb form in the Championship, unbeaten in their last five & have lost just two of their last nine games, against Premier League title challengers Liverpool & Championship leaders Brighton. Cambridge have scored in each of their last five at home, Leeds have netted in each of their last five away games, the Leeds/BTTS could be a good bet here but I'm backing Both Teams To Score on Monday night - 4/5 at bet365.
Manchester United v Reading - FA Cup - 12.30pm
My 150/1 FA Cup 7fold kicks off in the early FA Cup game as 2016 FA Cup winners Manchester United host Reading at Old Trafford in the 3rd Round. Manchester United are in terrific form heading into 2017, 13 games unbeaten while winning their last seven games in all comps. Jose Mourinho's side have lost just one game at home this season, in the Manchester derby in early September and are now 13 games unbeaten at Old Trafford, winning their last four. Jaap Stam has done a stellar job for Reading this season, putting them in contention for promotion to the Premier League next season. The Royals have won their last three league games but have lost two of their last four away from home, conceding 11 goals in their last four games. Man Utd take my pick here - 1.20 at bet365.
West Brom v Derby - FA Cup - 3pm
West Brom look a good bet at home to Derby on Saturday to continue their impressive form at The Hawthorns. The Baggies have won four of their last five games at home, all four wins coming against bottom half opposition in Burnley, Hull, Swansea & Hull City - their only defeat in that run coming against in-form Manchester United. Steve McClaren's done an impressive job since returning to Derby County, winning eight of their last 11 games, however they suffered a devastating 3-0 defeat at Carrow Road last time out which came as a bit of a surprise given their impressive form leading up to that game. Tony Pulis has previous in the FA Cup leading Stoke to the final in 2011, the top six is too far for the Baggies this season but a good cup run could begin with a win over Derby - WBA 1.80 at bet365.
Bolton v Crystal Palace - FA Cup - 3pm
Crystal Palace have named Sam Allardyce as their successor to Alan Pardew but they've started 2017 with another defeat & are in relegation battle. This was a similar theme for Alan Pardew last season, their league form suffered but they went on an incredible run in the FA Cup, advancing to the final but losing to Man Utd in extra-time. We can't see the same again on Saturday, though. Wilfried Zaha is off to the Africa Cup of Nations while Christian Benteke is out with a shoulder injury. Bolton Wanderers are battling for promotion back to the Championship & are on an excellent league run, winning six of their last eight game while they've won their last 10 at the Macron Stadium. Palace have scored eight away goals in their last four games, Bolton are on a fantastic run at home - Bolton & BTTS looks fantastic value - 7.0 at bet365.
Sunderland v Burnley - FA Cup - 3pm
Both Sunderland & Burnley look to make plenty of changes for this FA Cup 3rd Round clash. Sunderland are battling to avoid relegation yet again, Burnley are playing well under Sean Dyche, they're eight points above the bottom three but they'll want to hit 30 points before they begin to think they're safe. Sunderland have lost four of their last six games, including a 4-1 away defeat to Burnley but they've played tough opposition in that run, facing Chelsea, Man Utd & Liverpool. However, David Moyes' side have lost won three of their last five at home, their only defeat in that run coming against in-form Chelsea. Burnley are in horrific form away from home, they're without an away win this season & have lost their last five in the league. Sunderland & BTTS takes my pick here - 4.75 at bet365.
Preston v Arsenal - FA Cup - 5.30pm
Arsenal's title hopes have faltered in recent weeks, mainly down to their recent away results, losing at Everton, Man City & drawing 3-3 at Bournemouth, but were 3-0 down in that game. Arsenal were bidding for a hat-trick of FA Cup wins last season but were knocked out at home against Watford. They face a tough away trip to Preston on Saturday evening, Preston were impressive at home between September & October, winning four games in a row but have now just picked up one win at Deepdale in their last six. Arsenal are a short price here but they have enough strength in depth & quality to see past Preston here - Arsenal 1.40 at bet365.
Chelsea v Peterborough - FA Cup - Sunday 3pm
League leaders Chelsea have an excellent record in the FA Cup in the last 10 years. Since 2007, Chelsea have won the FA Cup four times (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012) & given their lack games in other competitions this season, they could take the FA Cup seriously this year. Chelsea suffered their first defeat in 14 last time out against Spurs but Antonio Conte's side are unbeaten at Stamford Bridge, they've suffered just one defeat at home this season, winning 10 of their 11 home games, winning their last seven at home. Peterborough are unbeaten in their last six at home & could cause problems going forward but this should be a straightforward win for Chelsea here - 1.17 at bet365.
Tottenham v Aston Villa - FA Cup - Sunday 4pm
Tottenham, alongside Liverpool, are the only sides who remain unbeaten in the Premier League at home this season. Spurs are in a fantastic run of form in the league, winning their last five in a row including ending rivals Chelsea' 13 game winning streak at White Hart Lane. Mauricio Pochettino has been criticised in the last two seasons for his attitude towards cup competitions but should see no problem seeing past Aston Villa at home this weekend. Villa have been atrocious away from home for the last 18 months, picking up just two wins in their last 34 away from home. Spurs are unbeaten at White Hart Lane since May. Tottenham to win - 1.29 at bet365.
Championship leaders Brighton are a decent price just for the win against League One strugglers MK Dons, but I've managed to find huge value in the Albion win to nil when the Dons visit the Amex on Saturday. Brighton have one of the strongest home records in the Championship with nine wins in 12 on the south coast - with eight of those wins being to nil. MK Dons did score their 2-1 league defeat here last season, but they've rapidly declined since and are now struggling in the lower division. Robbie Neilson's men have failed to score in three of their last four away from home at struggling duo Chesterfield and Gillingham plus mid table Bristol Rovers - that says it all. The home win to nil at just under 2/1 looks fantastic value.
I've had a lot of success backing my own side, Villa, in recent home wins against the likes of Wigan, Burton, Cardiff and Blackburn - but I'm going against my heart on Sunday with a comfortable home win for Spurs. Villa have been atrocious away from home for the last 18 months - they won just once on their travels in 2015/16 en route to relegation and a drop down to the Championship has hardly improved their away record - just two wins in 14 so far. Scoring goals has also been a problem away from Villa Park with Steve Bruce's men failing to score in trips to Sheff Wed, Derby, Ipswich, Preston, Leeds, Norwich and Cardiff already this campaign. Spurs are in their best form of the season following five straight league wins - Chelsea lost 2-0 on this ground in midweek, and even with a weakened side, I fully expect Spurs to record a similar result en route to the FA Cup 4th round. 11/10 for the Spurs win to nil looks a cracking bet.