Back Page Betting: Weekend Wagers

by Nick Higgins

Without wishing to sound like an incessant football fan hanging onto the coat-tails of just about everybody who watches, plays, listens to, or even just has a passing interest in the beautiful game, let me declare that I hate international breaks. They are a nuisance at the best of times but three games into a new season when the vast majority of fans have yet to satisfy their craving for competitive, free-flowing, controversy-ridden club football matches, it seems rather unfair to pull the new season from under our feet and force us to become half heartedly patriotic at the sight of our national teams dossing about in far flung corners of Europe scraping results in the false hope that one day, we might just become champions of the continent, or even, dare I say it, the world.

So it goes without saying that I am eagerly anticipating the return of ‘proper football’ this weekend and as ever I have poured over the form book and markets to pick out my top bets for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

First up I’m looking at the Man City v Wigan game where the tip is City to win to nil at a best price 4/5 with Unibet. Now, how’s this for a statistic. Wigan have lost 10 of their last 13 games away to the top sides to nil. The top sides I speak of are Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. I understand that for some (small-minded) individuals Liverpool are no longer considered to be a ‘big club’. On this occasion (it pains me to say) you might be right. Take Liverpool out of the above statistic and Wigan have lost 10 from 11 away from home against the remaining sides to nil. All of this bodes well for our bet this weekend.

Aston Villa travel to Everton looking to continue their decent start to the season and they will be confident of doing just that. In fact Villa haven’t lost at Goodison Park in the league since 2006. Factor in Everton’s comical lack of investment and rocky start to the season and their price looks too short at 2.12 (11/10) on Betfair. I will be laying Everton on the exchanges but a bet on Villa to win also looks value at 3/1 and is widely available.

The last tip of the weekend comes in Sunday’s match up between Norwich and West Brom at Carew Road. Both teams will fancy their chances of bagging the three points here and I am expecting plenty of chances. We know West Brom score and concede away from home and they failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 of their 19 matches on the road last season. We also know that Norwich will attack and are likely to score on home turf. With these stats in mind I’m backing over 2.5 goals at 10/11 with Paddy Power. And should he overcome injury to start the game, I will also be taking Shane Long to score anytime at 21/10 also with Paddy’s.

Good luck and bet with caution.

Bets:

Manchester City v Wigan – Man City to win to nil @ 4/5 (Unibet)

Everton v Aston Villa – Lay Everton @ 2.12 (Betfair)

Norwich v West Brom – Over 2.5 goals @ 10/11 (Paddy Power)

*And Shane Long to score anytime (only if he starts) @ 21/10 (Paddy Power)

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