TV Guide - Chelsea v Newcastle, Man City v West HamSaturday, December 2 2017
I had planned to cover Arsenal v Man United, but then changed my mind. Just like that. I’m mad, me.
Instead we’ve got a bit of this…
Chelsea v Newcastle. 12.30pm on Sky Sports.
Now, I will always be led by numbers – but context is key. For instance, these two are pegged level in their last 13 matches. Five wins apiece and three draws. And I’ve seen betting slips tear themselves up after good, really good Chelsea teams have been turned over by bang average Newcastle teams. But…
Chelsea will win this match. They’ve been pretty efficient at home – opening day and Man City defeats can be overlooked. And they been very efficient against Bottom Half teams, home and away – five wins to nil and one defeat to Palace. Fly. Ointment. But I can overlook that too.
With Man City almost out of sight, a bun fight is developing for the bridesmaid spots. With Arsenal and Man United squabbling over three points this weekend – and probably ending up with just one apiece – and Tottenham having an identity crisis. This could be a good weekend for Chelsea and they won’t let this match slide by without maximum points.
Newcastle will know that their next two matches – at home to Leicester and Everton – are where the points are, not here. Plus, Chelsea have got Champions League business on Tuesday, so don’t expect many 50/50 tackles in the last 20 minutes.
I’m expecting this match to be won by 75 minutes and attention to drift elsewhere. Less goals, less corners, less cards. And this is how I propose cashing in…
- Home Win but no, no, NO at 1/4.
- Chelsea Win & Under 3.5 Goals. This gives us up to 3-0 and even a squeaky 2-1. At 11/10 it’s not just a bigger price, but better value than the Win to Nil (19/20).
- Coral are paying 8/1 for Chelsea Win, Both Teams to Score: NO, Under 10.5 Corners & Under 35.5 Booking Points in their #YourCall section.
We’ve got the same sort of deal with Man City at home to West Ham…
Man City v West Ham. 4pm on Sky.
Now then... I watch Karen Brady every week on The Apprentice, scowling at the poor clowns making bad decisions and cocking things up. She doesn't suffer fools, this lady.
And I'll level with you - the bitch-slapping she hands out during the final interview process has made my balls disappear up inside my body, more than once. Brutal, I tells ya.
And then she sits on the panel that hires David Moyes? I’m getting mixed messages, Karen. So, with regret – you’re fired.
Anyway, to business…
Like the previous, we will take it as a given that City will win. They will. So the question is how.
The complacency of an eight point lead, an upcoming Champions League assignment and their ability to pull 90-somethingth minute rabbits out of any orifice you care to name is our enemy here.
Home wins are evenly split between 'To Nil's and otherwise. With just one clean sheet from seven matches v Botton Half teams, compared to six from seven matches v the Top Half.
Plus, we’ve got to factor in the fact that West Ham will play with complete freedom against the division’s Harlem Globetrotters. They are allowed to lose this one.
There might even be one or two (or 15) players that thinking ‘shop window’. All of which means it won't necessarily be the arse-raping that one might expect.
So, after tapping all that info into the machine and punching the big green button – this is how I’m playing…
- City Win to Nil is 4/5…
- City (-1) Match Handicap is 2/7…
- City (-2) Match Handicap is 3/4…
- Half-time/ Full-time City/ City is 4/9… and they might well all win. But I’m swerving the lot.
- City Win & Both Teams to Score pays.6/4. Yes, that's odds-against Badmen.
- Coral are paying 6/1 on Man City to Win, Both Teams to Score: YES, Under 10.5 Corners & Under 35.5 Booking Points in their #YourCall section
Play nice. And I'll be back up in your grill on Tuesday with some musings from the weekend.
Ben is football’s leading injury specialist. The ‘go-to’ guru for big hitters like Sky Sports, ESPN and NBC Sports when they need data. Or the BBC, talkSPORT and the broadsheets when a quote is required. His unique insight has helped provide a better understanding of what is really happening in the treatment rooms.
Johnny is a respected physiotherapist and sports scientist, specialising in football injuries and rehab. Johnny has headed up the medical departments at Chesterfield, Scunthorpe and Notts County. Overseeing everything from player-specific training loads to pre-signing medicals. He has a proven record working with elite athletes in Private Practice and is regularly called upon throughout Europe to deliver presentations on the latest rehab innovations.
Matt's short, unremarkable football career was ended by his own bad driving. His long, distinguished career as a football tipster was ended by his own good advice. Because bookmakers don’t like a winner. First, they closed his accounts. Then his members’ accounts. Then his tipping service. And now they employ him as a consultant. Funny old game.