Another week is coming to an end and I’m away in Manchester for the weekend. What does that mean? It means I can do with three bets all winning and helping to pay for it.
Two Scotsman take each other on at The DW Stadium this week and the gulf between their managerial abilities is evident. Since Billy Davies returned to Nottingham Forest there has been a huge difference in their results.
The same can’t be said of Owen Coyle’s Wigan Athletic form, unfortunately they are expected to be doing better this season than last given they’ve been relegated. Despite having a strong squad and one of the best midfielders in the country in James McCarthy and the excellent Shaun Maloney the home side are stuttering in the division.
The home side opened with a convincing victory against Barnsley and have struggled ever since. In contrast Forest have won three and drawn one against high flying Watford away from home. They have only conceded one goal and that came last week against the Hornets. They have been professional and dominant in their performances too.
They may have been taken to extra-time midweek in the Capital One Cup but that was very much their reserve side so they should not be feeling the effects of that. It is fair to say Forest will be full of confidence as they head to sunny Lancashire.
I do not rate the Wigan defence at all and that is backed up by the goals they have conceded against poor sides including Doncaster Rovers. The same can’t be said of the away side with one of Celtic’s best players in the Champions League last season Kelvin Wilson playing alongside the impressive Jack Hobbs.
In Forest’s last four away games there has been under 2.5 goals, but I’m going to put my neck on the line and back Forest at an attractive price of around 12/5
One of the fiercest games in England takes place this weekend and as per usual one of the teams is overpriced. Liverpool find themselves consistently too short over the season and this has left Manchester United at a tasty price of around 2/1 to collect all three points at Anfield on Sunday.
Manchester United got off to a terrific start with a convincing victory over Swansea before a solid display against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday. On the other hand Liverpool have won their games 1-0. Despite being relatively comfortable they had Simon Mignolet’s penalty save to thank in their first game against Stoke City.
Looking at the stats show Manchester United have won their last three matches against Liverpool in all competitions. They have also scored at least two goals in their last three matches against the red side of Merseyside.
Luis Suarez is still missing through suspension and Martin Skrtel is likely to be thrust straight into action with Kolo Toure and Sebastián Coates injured. Not ideal for such a big game.
Manchester United look set to keep Wayne Rooney who was terrific against Chelsea and with Welbeck and Van Persie in the same side they have enough firepower to put Liverpool to the sword.
My final selection sees two unbeaten teams in the Championship battle it out at Bloomfield Road as Watford visit.
Paul Ince’s men were top of the league until Nottingham Forest’s point against the Hornets. Despite having a limited budget Blackpool have kept a clean sheet in five of their last six home games in the Championship winning five of those.
Blackpool are also undefeated in their last six games against Gianfranco Zola’s club. However, Watford are undefeated in their last six league games and have not left the play-off heartache affect them this season.
Blackpool could be without Thomas Ince again which is a major blow for the home side as his trickery and goals causes problems against the best of sides. The home side’s fixture list certainly has not been the hardest and this will be their toughest test yet.
With a strong spine of Troy Deeney, McGugan, Cassetti and Almunia I think Blackpool will find it difficult to break them down. On the other side, I expect Watford to torment the home side and inflict a first defeat of the season for Paul Ince’s men. I was expecting them to be shorter and I cannot ignore the prices on offer.