Category: Sports Betting Tips

Who Will Make It Through the FA Cup Fourth Round This Week?

After an exciting Third Round of games, that saw its fair share of upsets, we once again head back to the FA Cup this weekend with the 16 games in the Fourth Round of the tournament. The top game of the weekend is the Arsenal v Manchester United clash on Friday night but there are plenty of other games where potential upsets could be found.

In this article, we are going to preview each of the 16 games and give you our tip for the match result market of that game, together with the odds provided by bet365 Sport and correct as of 11.40am on Tuesday 22nd January.

Remember if you fancy a flutter on any of the games outlined below, then bet365 is the place to head as new customers could earn up to £100 in bet credits when they sign up using the current bet365 New Customer Promotion available on the site.

Without any further ado, here is our tips for the games in the FA Cup Fourth Round.

FA Cup Fourth Round Preview and Tips

All games are 3pm Kick off on Saturday 26th January 2019 unless otherwise stated. All the odds displayed were correct as of 10.50am on Tuesday 22nd January 2019 with bet365 Sport.

  • Bristol City v Bolton Wanderers (Fri – 7.45pm)

Both these Championship sides have endured very differing fortunes this season, while Bristol City are pushing on for Premier League promotion or at least a playoff spot, Bolton are fighting against the drop back into League One. With off the field issues dogging the club, Bolton also had the disadvantage of playing on Monday night ahead of this game, which means to me that Bristol City to win at 1/2 is the obvious choice here.

  • Arsenal v Manchester United (Fri – 7.55pm)

A massive Premier League clash between two top six sides is the glamour tie of the FA Cup Fourth Round. Arsenal are in good form following their 2-0 win over Chelsea last weekend, but so too are United who have been flying under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, winning all of their games since the Norwegian took over from Jose Mourinho. This should be a cracker but I feel home advantage could be key, hence I am backing an Arsenal win at 29/20 here between the FA Cup’s two most successful teams.

  • Accrington Stanley v Derby County

Accrington Stanley have been doing relatively well in League One for such a small side but they face a real test here against a Derby team that have performed their best in cup competitions, notably in victories against Manchester United and Southampton and in defeat at Chelsea. This will be a tough game for Derby but I expect their quality and pace to be the determining factor. Back Derby to win at 17/20.

  • Brighton v West Brom

West Brom come into this game in third place in the Championship and in with a chance of a swift return back to the Premier League, where Brighton currently lie in 13th position. The Seagulls have a strong record at home this season and with West Brom only playing on Monday night, I think the fresher Brighton team, with home advantage, should just do enough to grab the win. I’m taking Brighton to win at 10/11.

  • Doncaster Rovers v Oldham Athletic

League One Doncaster face League Two Oldham with the intriguing possibility that Oldham could be managed by ex-Manchester United and England star Paul Scholes. Even so, I think it would be a huge ask for Oldham to win the game as Doncaster are going well in League One and are the far stronger of the two teams. Doncaster to win this relatively comfortably at 3/4.

  • Manchester City v Burnley

It is the turn of Burnley to try and earn a victory at the Etihad against what is likely to be a below-strength Manchester City team as Pep Guardiola rests key players. Even so, City will still field an extremely strong side and as they have shown already this season, their youngsters and fringe players would walk into most other Premier League sides. Burnley are 22/1 to win this game and that tells you all you need to know, at 1/10, Man City are the obvious pick.

  • Middlesbrough v Newport County

Newport County managed a draw with Spurs in the FA Cup last season and beat Leicester City in the third round, so they know an upset when they see one. Middlesbrough though are going well in the Championship and have the quality in their team to keep Newport quiet and one goal should be enough for Middlesbrough at 1/3 to claim the victory here.

  • Newcastle United v Watford

I can see both managers resting a couple of key men for this game which makes it a tricky one to predict. Both sides are in relatively decent form heading into the game and Newcastle have home advantage. They beat Watford in the Premier League this season at home, drawing away and I fancy the home side to just about edge this one, Take Newcastle to snatch a victory here at 2/1.

  • Portsmouth v QPR

This should be a good even contest between League One leaders Portsmouth and Championship mid-tablers QPR. Both sides have had financial problems in the recent past and are battling back from that and while QPR have the edge in terms of quality and being in a better league, Pompey are in form and flying in League one and I think home advantage could be key, hence I am backing a Portsmouth win here at 11/8.

  • Shrewsbury v Wolves

Both these teams recorded stunning wins in the third round to reach this stage, Shrewsbury coming from 2-0 down to beat Stoke 3-2, while Wolves ended Liverpool’s ambitions with a 2-1 win at Molineux. The Shrews will make this a very tough evening for the visitors I have no doubt, but I fancy Wolves better quality to be decisive and I’m taking Wolves to win at 1/2.

  • Swansea City v Gillingham

After a slow start to the season, Swansea boss Graham Potter has got his team playing more consistently now and they start as the clear favourites against a League One Gillingham side that have struggled for form and consistency themselves this season. The Swans extra quality, particularly in midfield and attack allied to a shaky Gills defence means a Swansea win at 9/20 is the bet to back here.

  • Millwall v Everton (5.30pm)

The New Den is always a tough place to go and get a result and inconsistent Everton will find out how tough it is on Saturday evening. The home side will be really up for this game and in truth, I think Everton’s additional quality may not be quite as decisive as they’d like it to be. Millwall battle hard and I can see this one ending in a draw, which is a 14/5 option.

  • AFC Wimbledon v West Ham (7.45pm)

These two teams met in the Carabao Cup earlier on in the season and AFC Wimbledon had West Ham on the rack before conceding three second half goals to lose the game 3-1. Since then though their season has nosedived, while West Ham’s has improved markedly, although the Hammers are still dogged by inconsistency. Even so, the Hammers to win at 9/20 with bet365 is the bet to back here.

  • Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday (Sun – 4pm)

There’s no doubt that Mauricio Sarri was very unhappy with Chelsea’s performance levels against Arsenal last weekend, with the Italian lambasting his players in the press following that defeat. He’ll make several changes for this game, resting some players, and I think that could be a problem for Sheffield Wednesday who have endured an inconsistent season in the Championship. Chelsea should record a comfortable home win here at 1/6.

  • Crystal Palace v Tottenham (Sun – 4pm)

This could be a tricky one for Spurs with Son, Kane and Alli all likely to be absent and them facing a Palace side who have beaten Man City and ran Liverpool very close at Anfield last weekend. Spurs just about snatched a win at Fulham but Palace are a stronger side than the Cottagers and as such this could be a very close game. I can see both teams scoring but I think this one will require a replay, hence I am backing the draw at 12/5.

  • Barnet v Brentford (Mon – 7.45pm)

The final Non-League team left in the FA Cup face a London derby against Brentford at Underhill. Barnet are struggling a little in the National League whereas Brentford’s form this season had dropped off a cliff in recent weeks, seeing them tumble down the Championship table after a bright start. This will be close and I feel that a replay is on the cards, hence I’m backing the draw which is an appealing 3/1 with bet365.

 

Who Should I Back to Win the Australian Open Tennis?

On Monday 14th January, the first Grand Slam tournament of the tennis season got underway at Melbourne Park in Australia with 128 players in each of the men’s and women’s singles tournaments battling it out to become the Australian Open Champion 2019.

Over the first two days of action we have already seen plenty of excitement and the occasional shock result too. Andy Murray battled hard against his opponent and his hip injury before eventually losing to 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut on the opening day and fellow Brit Kyle Edmund, a semi-finalist here last year, also went out yesterday.

Several other seeds in both the men’s and women’s draw also went out at the first round stage and no doubt more will follow over the next fortnight or so as players eliminate each other until just two remain in each draw to contest the finals, which will be played on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th January 2019.

There’s masses of great tennis betting to enjoy on the Australian Open at the moment on bet365 Sport including Live Streaming of the games as well as In Play betting and all your usual markets too. If you fancy a flutter and are not yet a member, then remember new customers can benefit from the latest bet365 Sport Sign Up Bonus which could see you earn up to £100 in bet credits when you have joined and start betting on the site.

In this article, we are going to take a look at who we think our the top three players to back to win the event in both the men’s and women’s draw and why we feel they are the players to back.

Australian Open 2019 – Men’s Draw

The Genuine Contenders

All data shown and odds are correct as of Tuesday 15th January 2019.

Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

  • Age – 31
  • Grand Slams Won – 14
  • Australian Opens Won – 6 (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)
  • Round 1 Result – v Max Krueger (USA) – 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
  • Round 2 Opponent – Jo Wilfried Tsonga (France)
  • Bet365 Odds – 6/5 favourite

For a couple of years, it seemed that Novak Djokovic would struggle to get back to his very best form, but last year, after finishing 2017 without a title, he earned his first Grand Slam victory in two years when winning Wimbledon and then he followed that up with a stunning victory at the US Open at Flushing Meadow.

Djokovic is clearly back to his best and the in form Serbian will be hoping to add the Australian Open to his winner cabinet for the seventh time, which would be a record. Seeded first in the draw, it is going to have to be a monumental effort from a player to get the better of the current World Number 1.

Roger Federer (Switzerland)

  • Age – 37
  • Grand Slams Won – 20
  • Australian Opens Won – 6 (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018)
  • Round 1 Result – v Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
  • Round 2 Opponent – Dan Evans (GB)
  • Bet365 Odds – 9/2

Yes, it is another obvious pick but what you can say other than it is Roger Federer in a Grand Slam event that he has won six times in total, including both of the past two years? You have to include him as one of the two favourites for the event simply based on that fact alone, let alone his majestic career which has him down as one of the greatest players, if not THE greatest player of all time.

Federer’s clever management of his schedule in recent times, including missing the French Open, has meant he has been more focused in the other Grand Slam events and with his record in Australia seeing him unbeaten over the past two years, it is going to take a massive effort for someone to break that record this year.

The Outside Bet

Kevin Anderson (South Africa)

  • Age – 32
  • Grand Slams Won – 0 (finalist twice)
  • Australian Opens Won – 0 (best Fourth Round on three occasions)
  • Round 1 Result – v Alex Mannarino (France) – 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1
  • Round 2 Opponent – Frances Tiafoe (US)
  • Bet365 Odds – 28/1

Kevin Anderson was always recognised as a tall, big-serving, quality tennis player but perhaps someone who would always find themselves lingering in the top 20 or so of players without making an impression on the top six. However in 2017, that all changed with Anderson reaching the final of the US Open and then in 2018, he followed that up with his equal best performance at the French Open before earning a final appearance at Wimbledon.

Anderson’s big serve and huge reach are obvious weapons but he is fitter, quicker and more athletic than many give him credit for. He is also in form and if one of the big two were to slip up, then my money would be on Anderson being the man most likely to perform well.

Australian Open 2019 – Women’s Draw

The Genuine Contenders

Serena Williams (United States)

  • Age – 37
  • Grand Slams Won – 23
  • Australian Opens Won – 7
  • Round 1 Result – v Tatjana Maria (Germany) – 6-0, 6-2
  • Round 2 Opponent – Eugenie Bouchard (Canada)
  • Bet365 Odds – 10/3 favourite

There’s little left for Serena Williams to achieve in the women’s game. The 37 year old has been the dominant force in women’s tennis for over ten years and her legacy of Grand Slam titles speaks for itself. However after giving birth, Williams is now seeking her first Grand Slam title as a mother and despite being 16th seed in Melbourne, she is the hot favourite to land her eighth Australian Open.

Williams qualities as a player are still very evident, as is her choice of fashion, but there are question marks about her fitness as she now approaches 40. In truth, the sapping heat of Melbourne may be more problematic to her than some of her opponents and I think she is a shoe-in to reach at least the semifinals and an obvious choice as the winner.

Naomi Osaka (Japan)

  • Age – 21
  • Grand Slams Won – 1
  • Australian Opens Won – 0 (best Fourth Round in 2018)
  • Round 1 Result – v Magda Linette (Malta) – 6-4, 6-2
  • Round 2 Opponent – Tamara Zidansek (Slovakia)
  • Bet365 Odds – 10/1

2018 was the year that Naomi Osaka finally started to achieve her full potential, she flew up the rankings to achieve a career best fourth place in the rankings in October 2018 and that lofty position came on the back of her first ever win in a Grand Slam event, when she surprised many by landing victory at the US Open.

She’s only managed to get to the fourth round of the Australian Open so far in her career, but her aggressive playing style and unflinching serve, which can hit 125mph, is reckoned to be one of the most potent in the women’s game. If she can add greater consistency on her ground strokes to her game she could be a real threat in Melbourne over the next fortnight.

The Outside Bet

Garbine Muguruza (Spain)

  • Age – 25
  • Grand Slams Won – 2
  • Australian Opens Won – 0 (best Quarterfinals 2017)
  • Round 1 Result – v Zheng Saisai (China) 6-2, 6-3
  • Round 2 Opponent – Johanna Konta (GB)
  • Bet365 Odds – 25/1

Born in Venezuela, Muguruza represents Spain and has already landed two Grand Slam titles in her career, the French Open in 2016 and the Wimbledon title in 2017. Her form is somewhat erratic and her best performance in this event is a quarterfinal spot in 2017, but in terms of a female player who is comfortable on all surfaces, Muguruza is amongst the best technical players.

A former World Number 1, she has dropped down to 18th in the rankings after a poor 2018 season but she should be raring to go this year and the Australian Open could be her first chance of adding another piece of silverware to her collection. She faces a tough second round match against Britain’s Johanna Konta next, but if she can get through that game then she’ll be a real test for any of the other women left in the draw and at 25/1, she is well worth at least an each way bet.

NFL Divisional Round Betting Odds and Predictions

The NFL Divisional Round is set to begin on Saturday, Jan 12 and NFL fans will be treated to four terrific games. The home teams are favored in each contest, with the biggest spread being just 8.0 points. Let’s take a look at the four divisional round games before picking a winner for each game.

Kansas City Chiefs -5.5 vs. Indianapolis Colts:

The AFC’s top overall seed, the Kansas City Chiefs, will host the upset-minded Indianapolis Colts on Saturday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium. The Colts were able to reach this round by beating the Houston Texans in the Wild Card Round. There is no doubt that the Chiefs were the much better team during the regular season, but the Colts are red-hot. Kansas City has also had a rough past in terms of winning playoff games, and head coach Andy Reid will have a big monkey on his back in this game. The only way that the Colts will be able to stay in this game is if they get another huge game from their defense. Indianapolis allowed just seven points in their first playoff game, and rookie linebacker Darius Leonard is the leading tackler in the NFL. I think that this will be close for most of the game, but Patrick Mahomes is simply too good for the Chiefs. Mahomes threw for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns during the regular season, and he will put on a show in his first ever playoff game. Bet the Kansas City Chiefs -5.5 over the Indianapolis Colts.

Los Angeles Rams -7.0 vs. Dallas Cowboys:

The Rams looked like the favorites to win the Super Bowl for much of the season, but then the month of December hit. Los Angeles lost two of their final four games of the season, and quarterback Jared Goff took a big step back. The Rams still have one of the best players in the NFL in running back Todd Gurley, who appears to be fully healthy for this game. Dallas meanwhile, won seven of their final eight games, and their offense is really starting to click. The Cowboys have played terrific defense all season, allowing just over 20 points per game, but they can now win on both sides of the ball. I’m still not completely sold on quarterback Dak Prescott, but running back Ezekiel Elliott is good enough to carry that offense. Elliott ran for over 130 yards in the Wild Card Round and should have a big game against a struggling Rams defense. The Rams will find a way to win this game, but it will be close. Take the points and bet on the Dallas Cowboys +7.0 in this game.

New England Patriots -4.0 vs. Los Angeles Chargers:

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are looking to make another run to the Super Bowl. Standing in the Patriots way is Philip Rivers and the red-hot Los Angeles Chargers. Rivers is having the best season of his career, throwing for over 4,300 yards this season in leading the Chargers to a 12-4 record. Los Angeles has a ton of offensive weapons, most notably Melvin Gordon. Gordon ran for just 40 yards in the Wild Card Round, but he should be able to feast on a weak Patriots defense. The Chargers offense will be able to put up some points in this game. New England doesn’t look like the same team from a season ago, and there are plenty of holes in their game. The Patriots did go 8-0 at Foxboro Stadium during the regular season, but Tom Brady started to show some signs of age. It just feels like the Chargers are the much better team in this game, and they will go into Foxboro and take down Brady and the Patriots. Bet the Los Angeles Chargers +4.0 over the New England Patriots.

New Orleans Saints -8.0 vs. Philadelphia Eagles:

The defending champion Eagles just refuse to be eliminated and were able to survive against the Chicago Bears in the Wild Card Round. Nick Foles has now led the Eagles to four straight playoff victories but will face an extremely tough test this weekend. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints were almost unstoppable all season long on offense, and they are nearly impossible to beat at home. The Saints averaged over 31 points per game this season, and they should destroy an Eagles team that has struggled to defend the pass. The Eagles have had a terrific turnaround of late behind Foles, but there is a reason that they went just 9-7 during the regular season. Philadelphia lost by a score of 48-7 earlier this season, and this game likely won’t go much better. New Orleans has way too much offense for the Eagles, and they will get a comfortable win. Bet the New Orleans Saints -8.0 over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Premier League Matchday 22 Preview and Tips

In what was a hugely hectic period for the Premier League over Christmas and the New Year, the league has taken on a somewhat slightly different shape as we head into the second set of fixtures in the new year this weekend.

No longer are Liverpool unbeaten after the Reds were defeated 2-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad and then they followed that up with a defeat to Wolves in the FA Cup Third Round by the same scoreline, the second time in three years that Wolves had booted the Anfield side out of the FA Cup.

That defeat meant that Manchester City, who had suffered a torrid Christmas with defeats to both Crystal Palace and Leicester City over the festive period, closed the gap on Liverpool at the top of the table to four points ahead of FA Cup Third Round Weekend and with Tottenham firing in plenty of goals at the minute and just  a couple of points further back, the Londoners are not out of the title race.

Chelsea and Arsenal however may be after both suffered mixed results over the festive period, Arsenal were thumped 5-1 by Liverpool at Anfield, and Chelsea were beaten at home by Leicester City and it looks like these teams may be embroiled in a battle for fourth place in the Premier League with a resurgent Manchester United, who have won all of their last five games since appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the manager.

This weekend there are some key games to enjoy in the Premier League and as always we are going to give you our top tips on the games. Remember, if you fancy a flutter on the games, then bet365 is the place to head. New customers can sign up with the bet365 Sport New Customer Promotion, which could see you benefit from up to £100 in bet credits once you are betting on the site.

Premier League Matchday 22

The games will be played from Saturday 12th to Monday 14th January. Games kick off at 3pm unless stated. All odds shown are correct with bet365 Sport as of 1.20pm on Tuesday 8th January.

Saturday 12th January

West Ham v Arsenal (12.30)

Arsenal have a brilliant record against West Ham, losing just one of the last 23 games between the teams over the years. West Ham’s form this season has been up and down and in truth, so has Arsenal’s of late, but the Gunners have shown an impressive ability to put lesser teams to bed and I think that is precisely what they will do here. I’d back the Gunners to win this one 3-1 in a game that traditionally usually has plenty of goals.

Tip – The visitors have a great record against the Hammers so back Arsenal to land the win here at even money.

Brighton v Liverpool

Liverpool come into this game on the back of two successive defeats, albeit it was a very under-strength team against Wolves last time out. Brighton have done well at home against a number of top sides this season but Liverpool have a good record on the road against the Seagulls and after two defeats, they are going to want to get back to winning ways to maintain their lead at the top of the table and I I think they’ll do precisely that. Liverpool to win 2-0.

Tip – Liverpool (2/7) have a good record at Brighton and I expect them to keep that run going here.

Burnley v Fulham

This is a crucial game for both sides as they seek to avoid relegation but the fact is that Fulham’s recent form isn’t great, while Burnley have won all their last three. Add to that the fact this is at Turf Moor and that Burnley have a generally good record against Fulham over the years and I think this will be a hard fought game that Burnley will just about win 2-1.

Tip – A real relegation six-pointer, but Burnley have the edge in recent form and they are worth backing here at 11/8.

Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town

Another crucial relegation battle sees Huddersfield, who have lost their last nine, face a Cardiff side that are eight points clear of them in the table. A win for the Bluebirds here would be crucial to their hopes of staying in the top flight and in truth, I think that is precisely what they will get. Back Cardiff to win this one 1-0.

Tip – Another crucial bottom of the table clash, but Huddersfield’s form is so poor that Cardiff City are great value at 6/5.

Crystal Palace v Watford

These two teams are amongst the more inconsistent in the Premier League. Palace should be doing better than they have been while Watford have picked up solid results throughout the season. That gives Watford the edge, but something tells me Palace will be up for this one and as such, I think a 1-1 draw is the most likely outcome.

Tip – Two sides that are hard to predict, which makes me feel that a score draw at 11/5 is the wise option.

Leicester City v Southampton

Leicester suffered an FA Cup shock at the hands of Newport County last weekend and they’ll want to bounce back at the King Power against an out of sorts Southampton. The Saints are playing better under Ralph Hassenhuttl, but things are still tough for them. I expect this to be a close one but I am backing Leicester to come out on top by a 2-1 scoreline.

Tip – Leicester City do blow hot and cold but after their FA Cup defeat to Newport they’ll bounce back here with a win at 19/20.

Chelsea v Newcastle United (5.30)

Can I make any case for Newcastle to get a result here? Rafa Benitez men have been tough to beat on the road this season but Chelsea is a very tough place to go and get a rare away win. Chelsea may have been a little below par of late but even so, that should still be more than enough for them to record a win, probably by a 3-0 scoreline.

Tip – Chelsea (1/4) are not looking quite as invincible of late and while Newcastle will make it tough, the home side should win this easily.

Sunday 13th January

Everton v Bournemouth (2.15)

Bournemouth have been really out of sorts of late and are struggling to get anything going in any competition and I can’t see that improving here against an Everton side that have been slowly improving under Marco Silva, despite the odd blip. Everton have struggled a little at home of late but I am backing them to get back to winning ways here with a 3-1 victory.

Tip – Bournemouth are right out of sorts at the moment and Goodison Park is a tough place to go. Take Everton to win at 8/11.

Tottenham v Manchester United (4.30)

These two teams are amongst the form teams in the Premier League at the moment and this should be a cracking game at Wembley. Spurs are the favourites but I think United will really push them hard as they did Chelsea earlier in the season and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turning things around, I am backing United to give Spurs their first taste of a draw this season. This one will end about 2-2.

Tip – Spurs won 3-0 at Old Trafford but I am expecting a much closer game here between a resurgent United. Take the draw here at 13/5.

Monday 14th January

Manchester City v Wolves (8.00)

After beating Liverpool and then thumping Rotherham, City look back to their best and they will feel they have a point to settle with a Wolves side who drew with them at Molineux earlier in the season. Wolves beat Liverpool on Monday and have a great record against the top sides, but I think this will be a really tough ask for them. City should win this one and 4-1 looks about the right scoreline.

Tip – Man City (1/6) at home, even against Wolves should be a sure fire selection for a home win.

NFL Wildcard Round Betting Odds and Predictions

The Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs is set to kick off with a pair of games on both Saturday and Sunday. There are plenty of intriguing matchups and storylines, but all four home teams are favorites this weekend. Let’s preview each game before making a prediction for the winner in each matchup.

Houston Texans -1.5 vs. Indianapolis Colts:

Andrew Luck carried his Colts into the playoffs this season, and they will now take on AFC South rival, Houston Texans. These two teams split their two games during the regular season, and this should be an extremely competitive game. Indianapolis will try to use their quick-strike offense to beat the tough defense of the Houston Texans. J.J. Watt gets plenty of headlines in Houston, but the Texans have a deep and extremely talented defensive front. The Texans will do all that they can to get pressure on Luck in this game, but it won’t be easy. Indianapolis has a great offensive line, and Luck threw for over 4,500 yards behind that stellar group. The Colts beat the Texans in Houston, 24-21, just weeks ago, and they should be able to do it again. Picking road winners is always risky in the NFL playoffs, but the Colts are just playing too well right now. Bet the Indianapolis Colts +1.5 over the Houston Texans.

Dallas Cowboys -1.5 vs. Seattle Seahawks:

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett will be looking for his second ever playoff win when his team hosts the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night. This has all the makings of a defensive struggle, as the Cowboys and Seahawks both have terrific defenses. Dallas has been much better on offense since acquiring Amari Cooper, but the Cowboys are still averaging just 21.2 points per game. Running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for a league-high 1,434 yards during the regular season, but you can expect the Seattle defense to be ready for him. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has proven that he can lead his team to playoff wins, and he has had a terrific season. Wilson threw for just 193 yards per game this season, but the Seahawks have been running the ball like crazy. Dallas simply must win this game or Jerry Jones might lose his mind, and they will find a way to score just enough points to get it done. Bet the Dallas Cowboys -1.5 to beat the Seahawks at home in this game.

Baltimore Ravens -2.5 vs. Los Angeles Chargers:

The 12-4 Los Angeles Chargers will be on the road when they take on the 10-6 Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card Round. Baltimore has been almost unbeatable since rookie Lamar Jackson took over the starting QB job, including 22-10 win over Los Angeles just two weeks ago. The Chargers feature one of the most balanced offenses in the league, with quarterback Philip Rivers leading the way. Los Angeles is expected to get tight end Hunter Henry back for this game, and running back Melvin Gordon is fully healthy as well. There is no doubt that the Chargers offense will be able to score some points against one of the top defenses in the NFL. Baltimore is averaging more than 150 rushing yards per game this season, and their offense does a great job of dominating time of possession. Lamar Jackson did a great job of getting the Ravens to the postseason, but things won’t be as easy for the rookie in the playoffs. Baltimore will be hard to beat at home, but the Chargers just have too many weapons. Take the points and bet the Los Angeles Chargers +2.5 over the Baltimore Ravens.

Chicago Bears -5.5 vs. Philadelphia Eagles:

The surprising Chicago Bears will host the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles in the final Wild Card Game on Sunday afternoon. Chicago has dominated opponents with their relentless defense all season long, while their offense has shown just enough to win games. On the flip side, the Eagles are lucky to be in the playoff field, but Nick Foles has them ready to make another run. The Bears allowed just 17.7 points this season and led the NFL in takeaways and defensive touchdowns. If Chicago is going to advance deep into the postseason, Khalil Mack is going to lead the way. Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw for over 3,200 yards this season, but he still plenty of areas to improve. Philadelphia looks like a much better offense with Foles leading the way, and tight end Zach Ertz caught 116 passes during the regular season. The Eagles don’t have a star running back, and the lack of run game could play a huge role in this game. Chicago has just been too good on defense to pick against them to win the game, but the Eagles keep it close. Take the 5.5 points and bet the Philadelphia Eagles in this game on Sunday.

Can Manchester City Resurrect Their Title Hopes Against Liverpool?

A win away to Southampton not withstanding, it has been a very poor Christmas for Manchester City fans. Entering the festive period with a goal difference that was 15 better than Liverpool and just a point behind the Reds, City have contrived to lose two vital games, against Crystal Palace at home and away to Leicester to trail the Reds now by seven points.

Furthermore, that goal difference has now been eroded with the Reds, prior to the game with Southampton having an advantage of four over City, albeit City can cut that difference down depending on the final score in that game with Southampton (which is being played as I type).

All this means that the game on Thursday between the two teams at the Etihad now carries much greater significance for City. A win for City resurrects their chances of the title as it cuts Liverpool’s lead over them to a much more manageable four points.

However, the flip side of that is, should the in-form Reds claim a win over City, then that would increase the gap to a massive ten points with 17 games remaining over the course of the season for both teams and with Liverpool, who would have already completed their fixtures with Arsenal and Manchester City, seemingly having the easier run in too.

Remember, if you fancy a flutter on the Manchester City v Liverpool match at the Etihad on Thursday, or the weekend’s FA Cup Third Round clashes, then why not head on over to bet365 Sport? New customers can join up using the latest bet365 Sport New Player Offer, which offers new customers up to £100 in bet credits.

Let’s now take a look at how both teams could well look when they face each other on Thursday night.

Manchester City team to face Liverpool (probable)

There’s no doubt that City’s run of defeats in December means that Pep Guardiola’s approach to this game now means that he must chase a win against the Reds. On the one hand that may well suit City’s slick attacking style, but on the other, it also leaves them open to the Reds counter attack, which so hurt them in the league and Champions League last season.

City will go with their usual 4-3-3 formation with just a couple of changes from the game with Southampton where I would expect Walker to come in at right back and Sane to come in down the left in place of Mahrez. The only other possible change could be John Stones coming in for Kompany if the big Belgian defender is not ready to play two games in four days, but I think Kompany will start against the Reds.

Manchester City (4-3-3)

  • Ederson – Gk
  • Walker – Dr
  • Zinchenko – Dl
  • Kompany – Dc
  • Laporte – Dc
  • Silva – Mc
  • Fernandinho – Mc
  • Silva – Mc
  • Sterling – Amr
  • Sane – Aml
  • Aguero – Ac

Liverpool team to face Manchester City (probable)

After their stunning win over Arsenal, I think Jurgen Klopp will elect to rotate a few players around and opt for a more defensive outlook against Manchester City, especially in midfield. I would expect Henderson to come into the team in place of Shaqiri, while I also feel that if Milner is fit, he would get the nod ahead of Fabinho in midfield after the Brazilian had a somewhat shaky game against Arsenal. Other than that, I can’t see Klopp changing too much from the team that hammered Arsenal on Saturday evening.

Liverpool (4-3-3)

  • Alisson – Gk
  • Alexander Arnold – Dr
  • Robertson – Dl
  • Van Dijk – Dc
  • Lovren – Dc
  • Henderson – Mc
  • Wijnaldum – Mc
  • Milner – Mc
  • Mane – Aml
  • Salah – Amr
  • Firmino – Ac

Current Form

Manchester City’s problems began back in December with defeat at Chelsea (0-2) but they steadied the ship with wins over Hoffenheim in the Champions League and then over Everton and Watford in the Premier League. However over the Christmas period two defeats in two games, against Crystal Palace and Leicester have severely hurt their Premier League title tilt and although they rectified that somewhat against Southampton, they are still seven points behind Liverpool.

In contrast to City, Liverpool have enjoyed a fantastic Christmas with all of their title rivals in the top five dropping points, while the Reds have picke dup maximum points over the fixtures they have played since December 1st. Six wins in the Premier League as well as a Champions League victory over Napoli means that 2019 begins with Liverpool flying high, especially after putting four past Newcastle at Anfield on Boxing Day, followed by a 5-1 hammering of fifth place Arsenal on the following Saturday.

Injuries and Suspensions

City will be without the suspended Fabian Delph for this game while the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan are a doubt with knocks. Fernandinho should be fit to play, but Bernard Mendy and David Ospina are definitely out injured.

Liverpool will be without Joe Gomez for the game, James Milner is also a doubt after being rested after picking up a tight hamstring over the festive period, but the ex-Manchester City man could well be fit to play against his former club. Other than that, Liverpool have a generally clean bill of health heading into the game.

Manchester City v Liverpool Tips

  • Who will win the game?

A few weeks ago, I’d have backed Manchester City to win this game, but even though they are the Champions and at home, I think the fact that they need to go for the win here could well be their achilles heel. They couldn’t break down a Liverpool side not in great shape at Anfield a few months back and this Liverpool team is in much better form and far more confident than the Reds were back then.

As such, I think City will likely push on to win this one and I think that plays into Liverpool’s hands. The Reds were devastating on the counter attack against Arsenal and I can see them having an equally productive time of it against a City defence which has been struggling of late and which has conceded plenty of goals in recent games.

As such, while I can see City scoring, I think that Liverpool will surprise a few and run out winners to cement their place at the top of the Premier League table.

Match Result – Man City 1-3 Liverpool

NCAA Football Semi Finals Betting Picks and Predictions

The 2018 College Football Playoff field is set, and the games are set to kickoff on December 29. The Clemson Tigers will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to kickoff an exciting day of football. Clemson is a 13.0 point favorite over Notre Dame in this game. Defending champion Alabama will take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the Capital One Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. The Crimson Tide are a 14.0 point favorite over the Sooners in the second semifinal game. Let’s take a look at each matchup and make some predictions and betting picks for each game.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl: (2) Clemson vs. (3) Notre Dame

The Cotton Bowl will feature one of the more explosive offenses in college football (Clemson) against one of the top defensive units (Notre Dame). Each team will look to establish their identity early in this contest, and the outcome will likely be decided by the type of game that occurs.

Lawrence, Etienne Powering Clemson

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne give the Clemson offense a balanced attack. Lawrence has thrown for 2,606 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, while taking care of the ball on offense. Etienne is averaging a whopping 8.3 yards per carry this season, and has scored a whopping 21 rushing touchdowns. Clemson features a terrific defense as well, but their high-powered offense has set them apart all season long. The Tigers are beating their opponents by an average of 32.0 points per game this season.

Notre Dame Hasn’t Been Tested

The Fighting Irish were able to finish off a perfect 12-0 regular season, but Notre Dame wasn’t really tested. Notre Dame was able to beat Michigan in the season opener, but feasted on a weak schedule to get to this point. Sophomore quarterback Ian Book will need to be sharp in this game to give his team a chance. Book is completing 70.4 percent of his passes this season, but can also make some plays with his leg. The Notre Dame defense is giving up just 17.3 points per game this season, but they haven’t faced an offense like Clemson yet this season.

Clemson Blows Out Irish

Notre Dame has had a terrific 2018 season, but their ride will come to an end against Clemson. The Tigers have dominated opponents all season long, and they are too talented to truly be challenged by Notre Dame. Look for this game to be close for a half, but Clemson will wind up with a blow out victory. Bet the Clemson Tigers -13.0 over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Capital One Orange Bowl: (1) Alabama vs. (4) Oklahoma

Two of the top offenses in college football will be on display in the Capital One Orange Bowl. Quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa were the top two vote getters in the 2018 Heisman Trophy race, and there should be plenty of points put up on Saturday. The winner of this game will likely be the team that is able to find some defense and slow down their opponent.

Can Anyone Stop Kyler Murray?

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been incredible all season long in leading the Sooners offense. Murray is completing more than 70 percent of his passes this season, and is also averaging 7.3 yards per carry. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner has accounted for a whopping 51 touchdowns so far this season, and has stepped up in critical moments when his team has needed him the most. Oklahoma doesn’t stop anyone on defense, but Murray has been able to outscore whatever team he faces. The Sooners have allowed more than 32 points per game this season, and must play better to upset the Crimson Tide.

Tua Appears To Be Healthy

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered an ankle injury in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, but all signs indicate that he is healthy for this game. Tagovailoa threw 37 touchdowns to just four interceptions this season, and his play has given the Crimson Tide their best offensive attack in recent years. The Alabama defense was one of the best in the country all season long, allowing just 14.2 points per game. If the Crimson Tide are going to beat the Sooners, their defense will need to find a way to slow down Murray.

Crimson Tide Win Tight Game

Kyler Murray going up against Nick Saban’s defense should be more than enough reason to watch the Orange Bowl. Saban has a history of finding a way to slow down opposing offenses, and they will have a game plan ready. If Tagovailoa is close to 100 percent then the Alabama offense should be able to score right along with the Sooners. Alabama will get the victory, but it is going to be a tight game. Take the points and bet on the Oklahoma Sooners +14.0 against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Premier League Half Time Report – Who Exceeding or Performing Below Expectation?

On Boxing Day, we will start the process of completing Matchday 19, the halfway point of the Premier League season. By this point, all teams in the league will have played the other team once and we will have a clear idea of who is going to fly in 2019 and who is going to struggle.

With that in mind, we are going to take a look at the first half of the season for each of the 20 teams in the Premier League, give you our review of how their season has gone so far, together with some targets (and maybe a tip or two) for the team to realistically chase in 2019.

As always, if you fancy a flutter on the Premier League, then bet365 Sport offers a wide range of betting on the competition. New customers also benefit from the latest bet365 Sport New Player Offer, which could see you earn up to £100 in bet credits once you sign up.

Let’s now take a look at how each team in the Premier League has performed so far in the 2018-19 season.

Arsenal – Unai Emery has overseen a real transformation in Arsenal in a short space of time. The Gunners look a much more threatening team now and have enjoyed a long unbeaten run. They look back to being genuine Champions League contenders once again and could push on for the title if they can improve their results against the top teams.

  • Target – Champions League Qualification – Arsenal top four finish – Evens

Bournemouth – The Cherries have enjoyed a very solid season so far and although recent results have been a mixed bag, they still remain safely in mid-table. Eddie Howe will want his team to push on from here and a good cup run would also keep the fans very interested.

  • Target – Good FA Cup Run, Top Half Finish – Bournemouth top half finish – 8/13

Brighton – The Seagulls have enjoyed some fantastic results in the first half of the season and have ended their Premier League awayday hoodoo. They need to continue this improvement into the second half of the season and if they can, there’s no reason why they can’t push on into the upper echelons of the table.

  • Target – Remain in mid table safety – Brighton to finish top half – 3/1

Burnley – It’s not been good enough for Burnley this time around. The defensive solidity they showed last season has disappeared and that has had a disastrous impact on results. The Clarets face a real battle over the last half of the season if they are to hang on to their Premier League status for next season.

  • Target – To avoid the drop – Burnley not to be relegated – 6/4

Cardiff City – The bluebirds may be struggling away from home but stronger form at home has lifted them out of the drop zone. However things are tight but Neil Warnock is experienced enough to keep his team in with a fighting chance of doing almost the unthinkable and avoiding relegation.

  • Target -To Avoid the Drop – Cardiff not to be relegated – 11/10

Chelsea – Recent performances suggest that Chelsea may just be a little short this season in termsof the top two, however there is absolutely nothing stopping them going for silverware in all the cup competitions they remain part of and I would expect them to land at least one and likely a top four finish to regain their Champions League status next season.

  • Target – Win a trophy and finish top four – Chelsea to finish top 4 – 2/5

Crystal Palace – Woeful finishing and poor defending has hindered Palace a great deal this season and this team is far too good to be down where they are in the league. Still, Roy Hodgson has his work cut out to ensure this team is safe from the drop, but I do expect him to do that with the talent he has available.

  • Target – Take more chances created and avoid relegation – C.Palace not to be relegated – 1/9

Everton – Marco Silva’s team have made a strong start to the season, without ever really threatening the top teams. That said, they are giving a good account of themselves in most of those games. Their aim has to be to build on this, go on a good FA Cup run and earn a top six finish to give them European Football once again at Goodison Park.

  • Target – Good FA Cup run, Top six finish – Everton to finish top 6 – 8/1

Fulham – After a torrid first half of the season, where Fulham have conceded the most goals in the Premier League, it is clear that if Claudio Ranieri’s team are to stay up, they need to radically reduce the goals they concede. If they can do that, then they stand a chance, but to be honest, the odds are stacked against the former Leicester man here.

  • Target – Learn how to defend, avoid the drop – Fulham not to be relegated – Evens

Huddersfield –  Huddersfield’s main issue has been scoring goals, particularly at home and David Wagner’s team are going to need a huge improvement in numbers of goals scored if they are to stand a chance of preserving their top flight status. More performances like the away win at Wolves are a must.

  • Target – Score some goals and avoid the drop – Huddersfield not to be relegated – 6/4

Leicester City – The Foxes campaign so far has been pretty average in terms of results, but that is understandable given the off-the-field issues the club has faced in recent times. I can see them going well in the FA Cup and perhaps pushing on to finish higher up the table and getting alongside the teams just outside the top five.

  • Target – Good FA Cup campaign, top half finish – Leicester to finish top half – 10/11

Liverpool – it’s been a very good campaign for Liverpool so far and you get the feeling that silverware is a must for this team. Whether they can continue the run of form in the New Year will determine their success but I feel for the Reds its one of the Premier league or Champions League, or as a consolation, the FA Cup at minimum.

  • Target – to Win the Premier League or Champions League or at least some silverware – Liverpool outright winners – 5/2

Manchester City – Manchester City have played some superb football this season and they are the clear favourites to win the title, even given Liverpool’s form. It’s hard to argue that when you see City in full flow. The Premier League will likely be won but I think Pep has his eyes more fixed on the Champions League this time around.

  • Target – To win the Premier League and reach Champions League Final – Man City Outright Winners – 4/11

Manchester United – Jose Mourinho’s team are languishing well off the pace of the top five and in truth that is unacceptable for a team like Manchester United. Consistency and performances need to improve drastically for them to even stand a chance of the top four and in truth, while that may be an aim, it is one that has little chance of success. The FA Cup may be a more realistic proposition.

  • Target – Vastly improve, FA Cup win, aim for top four finish – United to finish top 4 – 7/1

Newcastle – It’s been a tough year for Rafa Benitez, but his commitment to Newcastle remains unwavering. He has the support of the fans and with a new owner reportedly coming in in the New Year, he may hope for a bit of cash to spend. In the meantime, he will have his work cut out keeping Newcastle in the top flight this season.

  • Target – Avoid relegation – Newcastle not to be relegated – 2/7

Southampton –  I don’t envy Ralf Hassenhutl’s task at Southampton. I think the club have been very poorly run at board level and made the wrong appointment in Mark Hughes. The players they have signed have been far inferior to those that left and the net result for me is a team going down. If Hassenhutl can avoid the drop with Southampton, that will be a job very well done.

  • Target – Win some games and avoid relegation – Southampton not to be relegated – 3/10

Tottenham – Spurs have lost a few Premier League games this season but they have also had few draws and lots of wins. I think they look a bit weaker defensively this year but their attack remains potent.  They’ll want a Champions League quarterfinals spot and a top four finish this season and both should not be beyond them.

  • Target – To close gap on City & Liverpool and finish top four – Spurs top four finish – 3/10

Watford – Watford have fallen away a little after a solid start to the campaign but Javi Gracia is a fine manager and has signed some very talented players. They may remain inconsistent throughout the season but I still feel they are good enough to finish in a solid mid table, even perhaps top half.

  • Target – To remain in the top half – Watford to finish top half – 10/11

West Ham –  If there’s an unknown factor in the Premier League heading into the second half of the season I feel West Ham may be it. They have a very talented squad that is yet to reach its best but their recent form is much better and in truth, this squad should be capable of pushing into the top ten over the remainder of the season.

  • Target – To push on into the top 10 – West Ham to finish top half – 8/11

Wolves – After a brlilliant start to the season, Wolves hit a poor patch of form but bounced back with some brilliant wins in the lead up to Christmas. It’s been a fantastic year for Wolves following promotion and I think they have the talent in the squad to push on and claim an unexpected top half finish.

  • Target – To remain in the top half of the table – Wolves to finish top half – 2/5

NFL Week 16 Betting Odds and Predictions

The 2018 season has reached the penultimate weekend, and there are still plenty of playoff spots up for grabs. Let’s take a look at the week 16 schedule and pick out the five best NFL games to bet on this weekend.

Los Angeles Chargers -4.5 vs. Baltimore Ravens:

The biggest and most important week 16 might be the Saturday night game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens. The Chargers are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the top spot in the AFC, while the Ravens are clinging to the number six seed. The Los Angeles offense has been clicking of late with quarterback Philip Rivers leading the way, and the Chargers should get running back Melvin Gordon back for this game.

Baltimore has been running the ball like crazy since Lamar Jackson took over the starting quarterback job, and the Ravens also feature one of the best defenses in the NFL. If the Ravens are able to establish their ground game, they might be able to slow down the Chargers explosive offense, but that is a tall task. Rivers has thrown for close to 4,000 yards this season, and has plenty of weapons on that side of the ball. This game should be an intense battle, but the Chargers are just too good at home. Bet the Los Angeles Chargers -4.5 over the Baltimore Ravens.

Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings -5.5:

The Minnesota Vikings head into Detroit needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Vikings will try to ride quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver Adam Thielen to a wild-card spot in the NFC. Cousins has thrown for over 3,900 yards this season, and Thielen has racked up 1,255 receiving yards on 105 catches. The Vikings are still looking for a consistent running game, but their offense is good enough through the air.

Detroit will try to counter with their stud quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Stafford is having another monster season, throwing for 3,395 yards, but the Lions offense lacks weapons to really scare a defense. Minnesota has recorded 47 sacks so far this season, and they should be able to take advantage of a bad Lions offensive line. Detroit won’t just roll over for the Vikings, but Minnesota will get the much-needed win by a touchdown. Bet the Minnesota Vikings -5.5 over the Detroit Lions.

New York Jets vs. Green Bay Packers +2.5:

A pair of struggling teams will meet up in New York for a week 16 battle. The Green Bay Packers have missed out on the playoffs for two straight seasons, while the Jets are still trying to get back to relevancy after some rough seasons. Despite a poor record, the Packers still feature one of the best quarterbacks in league history in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has thrown for 3,974 yards this season, while throwing just two interceptions on the season. Wide receiver Davante Adams is an absolute stud, catching 100 passes for 1,315 yards this season, and he should find some room to operate against a struggling Jets defense.

Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has shown some flashes of greatness this season, but he has also made some bad mistakes. The Jets struggle to score points, averaging just over 20 points per game, and this will be the difference on Sunday. Bet the Green Bay Packers +2.5 over the New York Jets in this game.

New Orleans Saints -6.0 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers:

A pair of terrific offenses will take the field in the SuperDome for what could be a high-scoring affair. Drew Brees is leading a Saints offense that is averaging a league best 32.8 points per game this season, and they will take on Ben Roethlisberger and a Steelers team averaging 27.3 points per game. New Orleans is just one win away from clinching home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs, and they are almost impossible to beat at home.

The Steelers are coming off of an impressive win against the Patriots in week 15, but they haven’t been very consistent this season. Look for the Saints to get their ground game going with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram in this game, and then Brees will do his thing. The Steelers are in for a tough challenge on this game. Bet the Saints -6.0 over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears -4.0:

The NFC North Champion Chicago Bears will head west to battle the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. The Niners have won two games in a row despite playing a third-string quarterback in Nick Mullens. San Francisco is averaging just 21.4 points per game this season, but they have started to play better of late. The Bears have a solid offense with explosive playmakers, but their biggest strength has been the defense. Chicago is allowing just 18.9 points per game and lead the NFL with 35 takeaways. It is hard to win on the road in the NFL, but not when you have a defense like the Bears. Bet on the Chicago Bears -4.0 over the San Francisco 49ers.

Who Wins from Chisora v Whyte and Frampton v Warrington This Weekend?

It seems somewhat unusual to be talking about the pre-Christmas weekend as being one of the best for boxing in the UK this year, but that is exactly what will happen on Saturday as there are two huge boxing events taking place in the UK, one at the Manchester Arena and the other at the 02 Arena in London.

It has already been a stellar year for British boxing with some outstanding bouts including Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte v Joseph Parker, Tony Bellew v Alexander Usyk, Callum Smith v George Groves, Josh Warrington v Lee Selby and Tyson Fury’s controversial draw against Deontay Wilder.

While it has been a mixed year in terms of results for British fighter with a number of them losing their grip on the world titles they held, it has seen others land their first World title including Josh Warrington and Callum Smith.

This weekend Warrington will be one of the main events as he defends his IBF Featherweight world title belt against the two-weight former world champion, Carl Frampton in Manchester. On the same night, it’s time for old scores to be settled once and for all as Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora lock horns once again following their epic battle in 2015, which saw Whyte earn as a contentious winner by split decision after an epic bout.

With two such big fights in one night, it is sure to be a busy one for betting and you can enjoy plenty of betting on these bouts and plenty of others on the undercards at bet365 Sport. Join today and new customers can earn up to £100 in bet credits once they sign up and start betting through the latest bet365 Sport New Customer Offer.

Let’s begin our look at the two fights by looking at Josh Warrington’s bout against Carl Frampton.

Warrington v Frampton (IBF World Featherweight Belt)

  • Venue – Manchester Arena
  • Fight Time – Approx – 9pm
  • Live? – On BT Sport Box Office

Josh Warrington may not be the world champion that Carl Frampton was expecting to face on December 22nd this year, but make no mistake, Warrington’s victory over former title holder Lee Selby earlier in the year was richly deserved and true to form, the Yorkshireman has refused to take an easier option for his first title defence.

Frampton v Selby was being billed as the big British featherweight battle, but Warrington has gate-crashed the party with his excellent win. His high-pressure, relentless boxing style sees him outwork and at times, overpower his opponents through the sheer volume of punches alone, rather than through power.

In contrast, Frampton may be a smaller man, but he does pack a greater power in his punch, although that has been diminished as he moved up in weight from Super-Bantamweight to Featherweight. An elegant and stylish boxer, Frampton’s only defeat came in a narrow split decision loss to Leo Santa Cruz, a fighter had previously beaten, and it seems a third bout between the two is on the cards in the future.

Whether that happens between two world title holders, or whether Frampton may have to wait in line behind Warrington, will depend on the outcome of Saturday night’s fight.

Tale of the Tape

Name Tale of the Tape Name
Josh Warrington   Carl Frampton
27 Wins 26
0 Lost 1
6 Kos 15
0 Draws 0
27 Total Bouts 27
22% KO% 56%
5’7” Height 5’5”
64” Reach 62”
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
English Nationality Northern Irish
Leeds Place of Birth Belfast
14th Nov 1990 Date of Birth 21st Feb 1987

This should be a cracking bout and a real nice mix of styles. Frampton is a ring craftsman and he packs a fiery punch that is rare for a lighter fighter, but as Warrington showed against Selby, he can take even a flush hit from a top fighter and he never takes a step back. Will it be Frampton’s power or Warrington’s workrate that win out the day?

The answer to that question will likely decide the fight and in my view, I think that Warrington, although he is the massive underdog, cannot be underestimated here. His workrate is eye-catching for the judges and I can see him picking up enough of the close rounds to perhaps score a very unexpected victory.

Tip – Warrington to win – 7/4

Whyte v Chisora 2 – Heavyweight Clash

There may not be a world title on the line with Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora lace up their gloves this weekend, but there is plenty at stake for both fighters. For Whyte, the younger man by five years, it is an opportunity to push himself to the forefront of challengers to take on the current heavyweight champions, Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.

On the other hand, this is Dereck Chisora’s last opportunity for a big payday and a chance to once again throw his name into the hat as a potential heavyweight title contender.

The last fight between the two was a brutal battle and one of the best fights of recent years in the UK. The action lasted from the first bell to the last with drama in almost every round with both fighters rocked by the blows of their opponent at various times in the fight.

Whyte came through that battle with the split decision win and Chisora has always pushed for a rematch insisting he was robbed in that first fight. Now on Saturday night, he will get an opportunity to show that he was right.

On the other hand, Whyte now has the chance to end the debate with Chisora in emphatic fashion and enhance his credibility as a future opponent for the World Champion.

Tale of the Tape

Name Tale of the Tape Name
Dillian Whyte   Dereck Chisora
24 Wins 29
1 Lost 8
18 Kos 21
0 Draws 0
25 Total Bouts 37
71% KO% 57%
6’4” Height 6’1”
78” Reach 74”
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
British Nationality British
Port Antonio, Jamaica Place of Birth Harare, Zimbabwe
11 Apr 1988 Date of Birth 29 Dec 1983

Like the last fight between these two fighters, I am expecting an explosive evening, but I also think it will be a much shorter evening for the fighters than last time out. Chisora is three years older and his age is starting to catch up with him. He still possesses punching power but Whyte was able to deal with that last time around.

Whyte though is five years younger, now more experienced and I believe a much improved fighter from when the two last met. I also feel he punches harder not than at any time in the past and as such, if Chisora tries to out-gun Whyte in the early rounds, I have a feeling he may come unstuck.

As such, as brave a warrior as Chisora is, I am backing Whyte to win this one by a knockout, which is a 15/2 shot with bet365 Sport.

 


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