The Betting Corner: Some (Great) Bets For The Weekend
It's easy to find the most popular football games on which to bet, but it's more difficult to find games that bring you good value. That's why you should look at the whole match-up, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of teams, before placing a bet. We reveal some bets that we think will bring value this weekend.
Aston Villa vs. Swansea (Saturday)
Aston Villa's embattled manager Tim Sherwood does not have time to let his team develop - he needs it to happen now, otherwise it seems the Villa board is already considering possible successors to the talkative former Tottenham boss. Villa has not clicked this season, playing a style of football more direct than last season's passing game, and seeming too reliant on the physical prowess of Rudy Gestede up-front.
However, Swansea is in something of a rut at the moment. The Swans have not won since August 30, and have several players who began with great promise, but now look just in need of a rest. When you add in the poor fortune the team has been having with refereeing calls (Bojan Krkic scored a penalty for Stoke against them on Monday, though Andre Ayew was awarded nothing after a bad tackle by Stoke keeper Jack Butland), it's not a happy club.
Although last season's fixture ended with Swansea taking away all three points from Villa Park, things may be different this time around. Desperation can make a team play more aggressively, and although Villa has only four points this season, Swansea at home, on the visitors' current form, is very winnable, as shown in odds of 2/1 for a Villa win with Betfair. Gestede is 5/2 with Betway to score anytime.
Sunderland vs. Newcastle United (Sunday)
In the Tyne-Wear derby this time around, the fixture has taken on even more significance because of both Sunderland and Newcastle being at, or near, the bottom of the Premier League. The sleeping giants have fallen there for different reasons, but it has all combined to make this game feel like a return to old certainties for fans upset at their teams' form.
Sunderland has won the past five derby matches, with its wins against Newcastle coming in spite of the Black Cats' annual battles against relegation from the Premier League. This season, again, there is a new manager in the Stadium of Light hot-seat, Sam Allardyce, and again, he is looking for a morale-boosting win. Steve McClaren's Magpies beat Norwich 6-2 last weekend, but the derby has always been a game that should be judged separately from other results.
Sunderland is 13/8 with Betway to win.
Liverpool vs. Southampton (Sunday)
It's Jürgen Klopp's third game in charge of Liverpool, but already the commentators are starting to suggest that the German coach is under pressure to deliver a first victory. After replacing Brendan Rodgers, Klopp seemed clear that his methods would take time to sink in, however Liverpool's league position of 10th, already eight points behind leader Manchester City, suggests time is precious.
Southampton is on the same points total as Liverpool, and although expectations are lower at the club, it's been an equally erratic season for the Saints. With these two clubs both looking inconsistent and prone to defensive lapses, this game will likely have goals, but could well be a draw. That result is 13/5 with Bet365.