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Where to Look When Betting

Betting on football is hard enough at the best of times, so when you are pretty new to the game, it can be almost impossible. Here I will try and give you a few tips on where to look when you’re trying to find something to put your money on.

The usual starting point is to look at how a team has been performing in the weeks previous to the match you are looking at. From a personal point of view, I’m not a fan of backing the teams towards the lower end of the league who have had a big win the week before. This is because it is very rare for a struggling team to win 2 games on the trot; therefore I would usually bet against them in the following week. Depending on the team you are looking at and their position in the league, I would recommend considering using this technique because the bookmakers usually have to reduce the team’s odds because they are on a good run. This means the opposition will be at more attractive odds and so giving you a bit of extra value for your money. Of course this is not a bullet proof method of betting and each case is subjective to the teams involved.

Another popular clue is the amount of goals a team has scored and conceded. Looking into this in more depth, look at the home/away statistics for the 2 teams involved in the games you are looking at and try to work out how many goals each team are likely to score. From this you can predict the result you think will happen.  For example is a team scored 3 every week at home, but away from home they concede 3 every week, the chances are they will win most their home games but get beaten in the away games so I would bet on them at home, but bet against the away from home.

Teams who have had a tough mid-week European fixture are often ones to avoid as well, especially if they only have a small squad or a lot of injuries. This is particularly true for those playing in the Europa League on a Thursday night because the manager and players will only have 2 days at the very most to prepare. For the teams with a bigger squad the manager can rotate their players and therefore they would be fresh for the game but smaller squads cannot.

Of course none of these methods are fool proof but I hope they can give you a couple of hints when you look to place a bet. You will find your own techniques once you start betting regularly and this will do you no harm at all!

Andy Clark!/AndyClark_TFT

It’s now or never…

The hire and fire theory rumbles on. Ian Baraclough has left my beloved Scunthorpe United after a mere six months in charge of the club. You cannot argue with the decision however after crumbling to a 3-0 defeat against woeful Preston.

I could see what the Scunthorpe board were going for at the time of appointing Bara. It was always going to be difficult to replace Nigel Adkins who was arguably the best manager in the club’s history; he’d certainly brought the most success. Continuity was the easy key at the time and by appointing within the club, i.e. Baraclough from coach to gaffer, it was hoped the bandwagon would roll on. I was one of those fans whose optimism wasn’t so sparkly though.

It concerned me at the weekend when I saw a ‘A day in the life of the Scunthorpe Manager’ pop up on BBC Football. Is it really appropriate for a manager in the depths of a relegation battle to be making documentaries and filling oddball media commitments? It just didn’t seem like the wisest of moves to me, as much as I like to see my club get recognition.

January was the key time for Bara. He had to get the right men in and retain those key players if he would have any hope of keeping the Iron up and proving the continuity theory correct. A vast amount of loan signings arrived at Glanford Park but arguably the key signing was Bristol City’s, when they snatched Martin Woolford from our thin-looking team. Wooly offered a spark and although he had games where he was ineffective and missing, he also had games where he’d be the difference for us.

So what now? Well… it’s not often I’m proved right if I’m being honest, but I called for a new, fresh approach when Adkins left. I wanted an Paul Ince or Eddie Howe. Somebody who had something to prove and with a reputation for motivating mediocre players to overachieve. Ince in particular was on the market at the time and what he achieved at Macclesfield/Mk Dons was exactly what we needed.

If this was the approach now we could look at Paolo Sousa who has something to prove, Phil Parkinson, Roy Keane or Andy Scott. They’ve all been dismissed having had relative success in the past. But this time round thought it’s now or never. We need someone to come in and have an immediate impact. We need someone with experience who will automatically command the dressing room and install some confidence. The thought of rebuilding the club structure isn’t too important right now. We just need to stay up…

Peter Reid, Peter Taylor, George Burley… I’m not convinced by either but they all have a rich history and have experience in survival. Burley in particular would have a keen eye for revenge having been sacked by our nearest rivals and likely replacement in the drop zone, Crystal Palace.

The debate could go on and on but the truth is all of the above probably won’t get past the C.V and letter stage. I figure the club will have lined up their replacement already and it’s a name that most Iron fans will be familiar with. Brian Laws was sacked by Sheffield Wednesday prior to his dismissal at Burnley. He’s had an up and down four years since he left the club. He’s got a clear understanding of the club and brought a decent amount of success over a ten year stint in charge at Scunny. But I beg the question… is he going to have the ability to keep us up?

Ask a Wednesday or Burnley fan…

Up the Iron.

Simon Bourne!/I3orny

Arsène Out, Jose In?

As Arsenal stare down the barrel of another potential trophy-less season, a few people seem to be losing faith in Arsène Wenger. Would it really be a step forward if he was to leave? With Jose Mourinho recently declaring he will return to the Premiership sooner rather than later, would he fit the bill?


Both managers have fantastic list of achievements to their name. Wenger has led Arsenal to 13 trophies during his 15-year spell at the helm. On top of this, he’s won the Premiership Manager of the Year award on three occasions. However, it’s now approaching six years since Arsenal last won a trophy, which is completely unacceptable given their history and competitive nature.

 The Special One has collected 17 trophies since he first took over Porto in 2002. His achievements include the treble with Porto in 02-03, where he led the side to glory in the league, cup and Uefa Cup. There was also, of course, the treble with Inter Milan in the 09-10 season where they finished top of Serie A as well as winning the Coppa Italia and the Champions League. It’s the general consensus that wherever Jose goes, he will bring trophies. We are yet to see whether that view will continue as his current Real Madrid side trail in the shadows of Barcelona in La Liga.

Managerial Style

The two have undeniably different approaches to football. Wenger prefers to fulfil the idea of the ‘beautiful game’; he approaches every match with an attacking outlook. He looks to get his team playing the ball quickly and along the ground, in a very entertaining manner. If you aren’t 100% focused against Arsène’s Arsenal, the outcome is often humiliating.

 Mourinho on the other hand has a different approach to his tactics. As we all saw in Inter Milan’s treble-winning season, Jose is a firm believer of ‘if you don’t concede, you can’t lose.’ Every team he has managed has developed the ability to grind out results, regardless of whether they deserve them or not. It’s definitely not easy on the eye, but it’s very effective.


This is generally the main talking point when the subject of Arsène Wenger arises. His main style is buying players whilst they are very young (and as a consequence, very cheap) and developing them into effective players for the future. He prefers letting youngsters develop over-time to going out and splashing £30m on an ageing superstar. Sometimes it works, as we’ve all seen with Jack Wilshere & Aaron Ramsey, but as we now approach their sixth season without a trophy, isn’t it time Arsene put his hand in his pocket and brings in some real, established quality?

Once again, Mourinho has a very different approach in this area. He is well known for going out and spending a fortune on players who have already proven they can do the business, so to speak. Whilst he is often criticised for buying ageing players for immediate success and then leaving clubs in the lurch, it is undoubtedly what Arsenal need. Arsenal supporters adore Arsène Wenger and the way he has got their club performing over the last decade or so, but time is running out. It’s been so long since they last won a trophy, I’m not sure they’d mind if the Special One took over and waved his magic wand around the Emirates for two or three seasons.



After exploring the positives and negatives of both managers, it’s hard to come to a conclusion. They are both two of the best managers in the world. I have a lot of respect for Arsène Wenger and the way he approaches football, but I can’t help but get the feeling the club need a fresh outlook. If I was Peter Hill-Wood I’d be looking at giving Arsène another season at the helm, and if the situation still hasn’t changed, draft in Jose Mourinho.

Aaron Bains

Betting on the Goals Markets

Betting on the goals markets is becoming increasingly popular in football betting. The main advantage of this type of bet is that the result is irrelevant to you (unless it’s your own team of course!). Instead of betting on a team to win or draw you are betting on how many goals you think there will be in total.

The Overs/Under’s markets are the most popular when betting on how many goals you think there will be in any given game. The usual divisions are Over/Under 1.5 goals, Over/Under 2.5 goals or Over/Under 3.5 goals. The best of these is the Over/Under 2.5 goals so I will use this one as an example.

Over/Under means you can either bet on there being under 2.5 goals i.e. 0, 1 or 2 goals in the match IN TOTAL, or over 2.5 goals, so 3, 4, 5 or 6 etc. Don’t forget, the result is irrelevant to your bet; you are simply looking for the total amount of goals. The 2.5 market is the most popular because the odds on offer are normally just either side of evens, for example Over 2.5 goals may be about 8/11 and Under 2.5 goals 11/10. These prices will be indicative of how the teams involved usually perform in front of goal.  Of course the 1.5 and 3.5 markets will have adjusted prices because they are more and less likely to happen respectively. Under 1.5 goals means you are betting on their being just 0 or 1 goals in a game, whereas Over 3.5 goals means you are betting on there to be at least 4 goals. Both of these outcomes will be priced much higher than the Over 1.5 or Under 3.5 alternative.

These Overs/Under’s markets are also popular to bet in accumulators to increase the odds. As we know, the more matches you decide to put in your accumulator the higher the risk of failure, but the higher rewards should all your selections be correct.

By Andy Clark!/AndyClark_TFT

Diary of a Sky Sports Reporter

It’s always good to see an old friend and it’s almost 10 years since I last met up with my pal Sven Goran Eriksson. Ok, ‘friend’ is perhaps stretching it a little! But it was good to do another interview with Sven on Saturday ,  even if the surroundings were slightly different from our previous chat.

At the weekend, it was after his Leicester City team’s 3-0 win at Scunthorpe, while in 2001 it was a few days after England’s memorable 5-1 victory in Germany – for the record I also interviewed a certain David Beckham! So how has Sven changed in that time? Not a great deal, the pre-interview handshake is still there (some managers and players just grunt at you!), most answers still start with ‘Wellllllll’ and the charming smile remains a part of the package. In short, it was a pleasure to chat with him again – I just hope I don’t have to wait until 2021 to complete the hat-trick!

The ‘Big Four’ are big no more

Just a short three years ago, English football was the dominant force in Europe.  Our boys surged past the continent’s great and good with a brand of football that fused the glorious Britishness of muscularity with European finesse, dismantling teams from Spain, Italy and Germany with unprecedented ease.  During the 2007/08 season and the few seasons preceding it Arsenal had beaten Real Madrid and Juventus, Liverpool had toppled AC Milan, Chelsea had destroyed Bayern Munich and Manchester United ousted a Barcelona team equipped with the devastating talents of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi.

Three of the Champions League semi finalists were English, with Arsenal’s progression only halted by the rampaging Ronaldo of Manchester United fame.  Italian and Spanish teams both struggled to cope with the forceful exuberance of our country’s best, and it was a similar story in the Premier League.  In the 2007/08 season the untouchable quartet of Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United lost only 15 games between them, with their nearest challengers Everton finishing a clear eleven points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

At the beginning of this decade however, these teams relinquished their resounding grip on domestic and European football.  Already, these four teams have been beaten on 26 occasions this season, with Tottenham and Man City breaking the monopoly these giants previously enjoyed.  In Europe, Barcelona and Real Madrid are now recognised as the greatest, while Bayern Munich and Inter Milan both proved themselves superior to their British counterparts in last season’s European Cup. 

The descent into mediocrity has been drastic.  While England’s best are still competitive at a European and domestic level, in just three seasons they have fallen from clear favourites to outside hopes in the betting for the Champions League, while the likes of Stoke and Bolton are finding more and more joy against the land’s finest footballers.  What has happened?

Nothing, really.  That’s the problem.  Our teams have stood still, relying on player’s former glories to justify their inclusion despite month after month of poor form.  None of our supposed bigger clubs have really freshened their squads up sufficiently to inject a new energy into their teams, with their current player’s familiarity with their surroundings unfortunately bringing contempt. 

At Manchester United, the crippling debt imposed by the Glazer’s has strangled Fergie’s usually savvy transfer brain.  Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo are yet to be replaced, with Dimitar Berbatov nothing more than a goal-getting bully only able to produce against the small and the weak.  Owen Hargreaves remains sidelined, Michael Carrick is going backwards, Paul Scholes is getting older and the cornerstones of their once impenetrable defence, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, are forever struggling against injury.  There has been no evolution, no emerging talent to reinvigorate the Old Trafford faithful, with the remaining stars of 2008 still the main attractions at the Theatre of Dreams.

It’s a similar story at Anfield, Stamford Bridge and the Emirates stadium.  These teams’ best players are the same as they were three seasons previous, with the recent resurgence of Liverpool and Chelsea surely down to their investment in the January transfer window.  In football, a squad needs to be consistently freshened, added to and tweaked, regardless of the near-perfect talent you may already have at your disposal.  Barcelona have maintained excellence for three seasons now, primarily because of the buying and selling policy Pep Guardiola has had.  Eto’o, Ibrahimovic and Villa have all been tried as the focal point of their attack, with Yaya Toure sacrificed this summer in order to bring Javier Mascherano to the Camp Nou.  You can be damn sure they’ll be yet more reshuffling this summer, with Guardiola hoping to stop the dreaded staleness descending as it has done on Britain’s big four.

While our teams’ dominance was never going to last forever, the swiftness with which they have been overtaken is a stark reminder of the fast-changing pace of football at the top level.  The Big Four got comfortable on their perch, only to be rapidly dethroned by footballer’s who had become better, faster and hungrier.  To re-establish this dominance, some of football’s finest minds will have to go back to the drawing board and rejuvenate some talented but aging squads.  Unfortunately for them, it’s a lot harder getting to the top than it is staying there.


Jon Vale

There’s change in the air

I have been taking a look at the rising English talent and I have to say the future is looking pretty good. Jack Wilshere, Jack Rodwell, Ravel Morrison and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain are all bright prospects and without a doubt just a tip of the iceberg of good talent. I am making a huge deal of this because not only are they talented but their brand of football is not your stereotypical English player. All of them are technically gifted with flair in the way they play the game. The English game is changing and it is developing to more than just grit and passion and I attribute this to all the foreigners in the EPL. Your Zola’s, Ronaldo’s and Nani’s have brought about a breed of players that can rough it and still entertain .Their presence has given English talent a different player to idolise and mould their game around. All the players I named have the aggression to cope with the English way of playing the game and the technical ability to one day outplay the best in the world.

Jack Wilshere I feel is the best midfielder to come out in ages and here’s why. He has great vision, technical ability and is disciplined.  He plays for the team and fights to get the ball back whenever he loses it. The boy basically has everything you’d want in midfielder, he’s complete and how many midfielders could you say that about at only 19.Not forgetting Danny Welbeck and Chris Smalling   both with loads of talent. If just half of the talent I see fulfil their potential the next decade is going to be very exciting.   

I have named just six players who I feel will be ready to carry English hopes at the next world cup but I am sure there is more talent yet to be unearthed before then.

Thandaninkosi  Moyo!/Thandaninkosi

Football Betting – From the Beginning

Football betting has seen a remarkable growth in the past 10 years and for somebody who has never placed a bet before, it can be a very daunting task. This blog will give you some guidance on how to bet, where to bet and most importantly, what to bet on. It is no secret that betting on football has the ability to be very rewarding, but it certainly doesn’t come without some frustrations and risks along the way.

The simplest, and most common market to place a bet on is what you think will happen in 90 minutes. So there are 3 options, a home win, an away win, or a draw. The most popular way to bet on this is through an accumulator, in which all the results you chose have to happen for your bet to be a winning one. For example, on a Saturday afternoon you place an accumulator on Arsenal, Everton, Newcastle United, Reading and QPR to all win. If all of the teams win, your bet is a winning one and you can start counting your winnings. However, if Everton lose, then your whole bet loses and you will win nothing. This example shows the risks of an accumulator, but they can produce very high rewards from a minimal stake.

Another popular market is to bet on the first scorer in any given match. Here you would place a bet on which player you think will score the first goal in the game. The odds on each player will be determined by the player’s tendency to score. For example, Didier Drogba would probably be favourite to score the first goal in a lot of Chelsea’s home matches; where as John Terry would be much bigger odds because he is a defender and less likely to score. Drogba may be around 3/1 to score the first goal, so for your £1 original stake; you would win £3 as well as getting your £1 back. Whereas Terry may be as big as 20/1, so for your £1 stake you would win £20, plus your £1 stake back. Obviously the bigger the odds, the less likely a player will score first, in the bookies eyes anyway!

Betting on the correct score of the match is another popular way to bet. The clue of how this works is in the title. Here, you are placing a bet on what you think the final score will be. As with the first goal scorer bets, the more likely the bookies think the result will happen, the shorter the odds will be.

These are 3 of the most basic ways to place a bet on football and trust me, there are many more to come! In the coming days I will look at some of the other methods and explain the best ways to get the biggest rewards from minimal risk. Keep checking back on this blog for all the best betting hints, tips and explanations off all the markets available. You will be amazed just what you can bet on these days!

 Andy Clark!/AndyClark_TFT