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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Midweek Football Picks 2015 (April 7-8)

After the Manchester City loss at Selhurst Park, the owners and men in a position of power at the Etihad Stadium might have made a shortlist similar to this list of ten men that may take over as manager of the club if Manuel Pellegrini is sacked in the summer.

It is a quiet week in English football after the Easter Weekend, but there are still a couple of matches of interest this week with a Sixth Round FA Cup Replay and a huge Premier League game taking the limelight during the week.


Aston Villa v Queens Park Rangers Pick: A relegation six pointer on Tuesday is a huge game for both Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers with the team that loses likely going to be one of the teams that will occupy the bottom three come the end of May.

A draw would probably be accepted by Aston Villa a little more than Queens Park Rangers, but I can't imagine Tim Sherwood asking his men to settle for that, although he won't have been impressed to have seen Chris Ramsey's troop picking up such a morale boosting win as they had on Saturday at West Brom.

The FA Cup Semi Final that Aston Villa be playing in means this game has been brought forward a couple of weeks, but the home team have to be wishing it wasn't coming just days after Queens Park Rangers rediscovered some form. The goals scored and the performance at The Hawthornes will give Queens Park Rangers a lot of belief, especially as Aston Villa look short of numbers in defensive positions.

On the other hand, Tim Sherwood has helped Aston Villa produce the goods in front of goal and they have at least hit the target in 6 of their last 8 games. At Villa Park they had scored in 6 consecutive games before the 0-1 defeat to Swansea and Queens Park Rangers have been far from watertight at the back all season.

Aston Villa look short to win this game considering the performance Queens Park Rangers had on Saturday, but one market still stands out to me and that is the chances of there being at least three goals shared. 7 of the last 8 Queens Park Rangers away games have seen that number hit, while Aston Villa had seen 5 straight home games hit that number before their latest 2 games at Villa Park.

At odds against, this looks a big price considering both managers are likely to take an attacking approach to the game where the three points are a huge factor. I can see a 2-1 scoreline either way in this one and backing at least three goals is my call.


Blackburn Rovers v Liverpool Pick: Any time a team reaches the Quarter Final of any Cup competition, they will take it seriously with the smell of silverware very much in the nostrils. However, this FA Cup has taken on extra significance for Liverpool after two Premier League defeats that has likely left them short in their bid to reach the Champions League.

Brendan Rodgers told the press that he thinks the top four is now beyond them and also made it clear that Liverpool do want to win the FA Cup to provide some happiness for their supporters. All in all it has been a disappointing season for Liverpool who were so close to winning the Premier League last season, but they can mainly blame the opening three months of the campaign for their struggles now.

And it is far from a guarantee that Liverpool are going to make their short odds to win at Ewood Park come through, especially in light of the defensive problems they have through suspension and injury. Losing Emre Can for this game to join Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard is a big blow for Liverpool, especially if Dejan Lovren is not fit either and it might result in a change of system which has been very productive for Brendan Rodgers in recent weeks.

Even if Lovren is able to take his place in the line up, Blackburn Rovers have shown they have a lot of pace in the forward positions which could trouble a player that has been out through injury for a while. That pace hurt Swansea and Stoke City to the extent that they were reduced to ten men as they couldn't keep up when the play went behind them and Blackburn Rovers will feel they can trouble Liverpool too.

Of course you would have to expect Liverpool will pose problems for Blackburn Rovers through Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge and this could be an exciting game for the neutrals to watch. Both teams will give this a go and an early goal will only make the team with that advantage very dangerous on the counter-attack and I believe there will be at least three goals shared between the teams.

That has happened in all three away ties Liverpool have played in the FA Cup this season and in both Blackburn Rovers' home games against Swansea and Stoke City and looks a decent price at just under odds against.

MY PICKS: Aston Villa-Queens Park Rangers Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.15 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Blackburn Rovers-Liverpool Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.00 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

April Update: 3-2, + 1.40 Units (10 Units Staked, + 14% Yield)

March Final30-18, + 30.66 Units (88 Units Staked, + 34.84% Yield)
February Final20-24-2, + 3.19 Units (75 Units Staked, + 4.25% Yield)
January Final10-22-1, - 10.54 Units (57 Units Staked, - 18.49% Yield)
December Final25-19-1, + 18.70 Units (81 Units Staked, + 23.09% Yield)
November Final17-21, - 0.59 Units (69 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)
October Final8-18, - 14.79 Units (47 Units Staked, - 31.47% Yield)
September Final12-18, - 2.28 Units (41 Units Staked, - 5.56% Yield)
August Final8-22, - 19.92 Units (51 Units Staked, - 39.06% Yield)

Season 2014/15130-162-4, + 4.43 Units (509 Units Staked, + 0.09% Yield)
Season 2013/14164-185-3, + 15.84 Units (577 Units Staked, + 2.75% Yield)
Season 2012/13+ 4.42 Units (415 Units Staked, + 1.07% Yield)

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