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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Weekend Football Picks 2013 (November 30-December 1)

It has been a busy week as my working commitments means I haven't had a chance to crack on with the picks for the games this week any earlier than Saturday. However, I have to say that the games this weekend look tough to call in the Premier League and it could be a hard week to come out on the right side.

Aston Villa v Sunderland Pick: I don't like backing Aston Villa too many times at home because I do think the system they employ is much more effective when they are allowed to counter-attack and that is unlikely to be the case against Sunderland this weekend.

Aston Villa did pick up an important win over Cardiff City in their most recent game at Villa Park and Paul Lambert would have circled this game as one they have to win before the festive period really kicks in.

Gus Poyet does have Sunderland playing better of late and they have been unfortunate to lose at Stoke City last week and Hull City before that as sending offs have affected the game plan. A lack of goals has to be a concern for Poyet, particularly away from home, while they have also been conceding too many goals on their travels.

Wes Brown is a big player for Sunderland as he is a defender that certainly can excel for them, but I think the momentum of the result on Monday will spark a Villa win this weekend. At odds against, Aston Villa have to be the call in this one.

Cardiff City v Arsenal Pick: As well as Cardiff City played last week, especially in their determination not to lose that game against Manchester United, they didn't create an awful lot of chances during the 90 minutes.

With better finishing, Manchester United would have put that game to bed in the second half and I don't think Arsenal will be as generous in this game. The return of Theo Walcott gives them another attacking option and Arsenal should be able to create chances to win this game.

Arsenal have only had 1 clean sheet away from home in the Premier League this season and I do believe Cardiff will be dangerous enough to score in this one off a set piece or something like that. 

However, I do think the Gunners are too strong and I will back them in the same way I backed Manchester United last week and call for Arsenal to win a game in which both teams score.

Newcastle United v West Brom Pick: Picking a winner in this game is not as clear-cut as some may initially think- Newcastle United have been in good form with a couple of big wins here and they have also protecting a decent home record.

On the other hand, West Brom may have drawn 4 of 6 away games in the League this season, but they have won at Old Trafford and should have won at Stamford Bridge so they won't feel overawed by having to face Newcastle United at St James' Park.

There is a lot of potential for goals in the game, as previous fixtures between teams here have also shown. The last 9 games at St James' Park between these sides have seen at least 3 goals scored, while 3 of the last 4 of the home/away games respectively have also seen that mark surpassed.

At 1.90, the chance for goals is perhaps a little under-rated here and I think this may be another exciting late afternoon kick off for the neutral fans to enjoy.

Real Madrid v Real Valladolid Pick: Real Madrid should be far too strong for Real Valladolid, but they are likely going to concede in this one on the way to the win.

Valladolid have scored in Barcelona, Villarreal and Valencia, while Real Madrid have conceded at least one goal in their last 4 gamesi n front of their own fans.

Even their last 2 wins over Valladolid at home have come in games they have conceded so backing the home side to win in a game where both teams score looks the way to go.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United Pick: This is a really big game for Andre Villas-Boas and his future as Tottenham Hotspur manager... The loss to Manchester City can be seen as quite a turning point for the fans and it seems to have come to a head.

Despite spending a lot of money in the summer after selling Gareth Bale, Spurs have struggled for goals and just haven't created enough chances for their new striker Roberto Soldado.

They should have chances against Manchester United who haven't been that solid defensively in their away games all season, although they are coming off the best performance of the season in the win at Bayer Leverkusen.

Some will criticise the quality of Leverkusen, but they don't lose many games at home and that was a very respectable win. United haven't been creating a lot of chances themselves, but the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie can produce a goal out of nothing and I think that will prove to be the difference in the two sides.

United have a strong record at White Hart Lane and I do think they can win this game. However, I recommend taking them on the Asian Handicap where a draw would at least return half stakes.

Hull City v Liverpool Pick: I have been impressed with the defensive shape that Hull City have had in the majority of their games this season, especially at the KC Stadium where they have been particularly stingy.

However, as much as Steve Bruce would like to sit back and try and defend deep in numbers in this one, the home crowd will mean Hull City have to show some adventure and I can see Liverpool exploiting them when they do.

Liverpool have scored plenty of goals away from home so far in the Premier League and the lack of goals in the home team will be a concern for Hull. That should be the difference between the teams in this one, and I think having someone like Luis Suarez means Liverpool can score a goal even when they are not playing particularly well.

With the goals in the Liverpool side, even away from home, I think they are going to win this game by a couple of goals.

Manchester City v Swansea Pick: There isn't really a lot to say about Manchester City when they play in front of their own supporters and they have been much more consistent at the Etihad Stadium than they have on their travels.

Manchester City have scored plenty of goals and I think Swansea are going to be the latest team to visit this ground and come away not just empty handed, but coming away with a comfortable loss.

City will score goals and Swansea haven't been playing as well this season as they did last year. Whether that is down to their participation in the Europa League or just teams getting used to their style of football is a question that will be cleared up in the next six weeks, but either way they won't find it easy to match Manchester City in this one.

The layers don't seem that convinced that City will win this one as easy as I think they might, so backing the home side for a win by at least two goals is the call.

MY PICKS: Aston Villa @ 1.95 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Both Teams to Score and Arsenal to Win @ 3.30 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Newcastle United-West Brom Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.85 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Both Teams to Score and Real Madrid to Win @ 2.38 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Manchester United - 0.25 Asian Handicap @ 2.17 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Liverpool - 1 Asian Handicap @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Manchester City - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)

November Update15-14-1, + 3.00 Units (45 Units Staked, + 6.67% Yield)

October Final20-16-1, + 12.94 Units (51 Units Staked, + 25.37% Yield)
September Final13-12, + 1.24 Units (39 Units Staked, + 3.18% Yield)
August Final13-26, - 12.13 Units (54 Units Staked, - 22.46% Yield)

Season 2013/1446-44-1, + 2.05 Units (144 Units Staked, + 1.42% Yield)
Season 2012/13+ 4.42 Units (415 Units Staked, + 1.07% Yield)

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