English Premier League – Brentford vs Manchester United – 1×2 Manchester United @ 1.79
Similar to another tip in this thread, the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjær has seen a rise in form at Old Trafford.
With two wins and a draw against the likes of Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Chelsea, there’s a reason to be bullish again.
The Red Devils were also able to confirm their top spot in Group F in the UCL with a 1-1 draw at home to Young Boys, which saw a team filled with youngsters and players who needed game time put out a strong performance in front of an appreciative crowd.
They now face Norwich and Brentford away in two consecutive games, which should propel them back into the top four with two favourable results.
This tip is simply based on a new lease of life at the helm at United, against a Brentford squad on the slide, and of course, much worse on paper. 1 unit
English Premier League – Burnley vs. Watford – Draw No Bet – Watford @ 2.37
In an early-season six pointer between two sides at the lower end of the table, we think there’s value to be had here on Stake’s own Watford securing the three points with insurance on a potential draw.
Admittedly, Watford have been poor defensively with the third most goals conceded of all EPL sides this season.
However, Burnley have long been a team that don’t pose much of an attacking threat – a line of thought that rings true again this year, with Sean Dyche’s men putting just 14 goals past their opposition in total all season.
Watford will likely have less trouble to deal with in this match compared to recent fixtures against stronger teams.
Watford have also recorded impressive wins over Manchester United and Everton this season, whilst finding ways to score against perennial top sides in Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester.
Their attacking threat is undeniable for a lower table side.
The Hornets will be playing away in this fixture, but they’ll also have an additional two days rest over the Burnley squad given these midweek matches.
We’ll take Watford to take all three points here, and if it ends all square we get our stake back. 1 unit
UEFA Europa League– Napoli vs Leicester City – Total & Both Teams to Score – Over 2.5 & Yes @ 1.94 – 1 unit
In what promises to be a tasty matchup in the Europa League today, Napoli will host Leicester City for the final group stage matchup in Group C.
Currently, the Foxes sit top of the group with eight points, but a loss here could see them not qualify for the round of 32 at all.
Their opponents sit in third, equal on points with Spartak Moscow but below them on the table as they have lost twice to the Russian side.
Furthermore, Legia Warsaw will host Spartak at the same time and on six points, the Poles could make their way through to the knockouts if results go their way.
Luciano Spalletti’s side has also been up and down in the league as of late, with big wins against Lazio and Bologna brought down by poor results against Sassuolo, Verona and most notably, against Inter in the San Siro.
One thing this game should give fans is entertainment. Both sides play an exciting brand of football with deadly frontlines that can catch you out at any time.
Although Victor Osimhen will be missing for the hosts, there is still plenty of firepower that should see them find the net against a Leicester side who have not managed a clean sheet in their last 14 outings.
The Foxes however, should find some fortune with Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka both fit.
Given their upcoming league fixture is at home against 19th-placed Newcastle United, Brendan Rodgers should place priority on this fixture and go for glory. 1 unit
A-League – Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory – Highest Scoring Half 2nd Half @ $1.99
A genuine A-League rivalry. We can expect a tense, and perhaps cagey opening to this game.
Adelaide have had the recent wood on Melbourne; and it has been a while since Melbourne have secured a result at this ground (Adelaide haven’t lost to Melbourne at Hindmarsh Stadium in their last 7 encounters).
With this in mind, don’t expect Tony Popovic’s Melbourne Victory to chase the game early.
Adelaide have been playing their cards late too, opting to play Craig Goodwin from the bench in all their games this season so far, their most dynamic player.
All things pointing to the action occurring later in the game, so we’ll back in an exciting second half. 1.5 units
English Premier League – Norwich Vs Manchester United – 1×2 & BTTS – Man Utd & No @ 2.55
Ole’s no longer at the wheel and surprise surprise we’re seeing an immediate upturn in form for Manchester Utd.
Michael Carrick took temporary charge after his sacking, overseeing a 1-1 draw with Chelsea and a 3-2 win over Arsenal, both results you wouldn’t have fancied Man Utd to get under Solskjaer based on their form under him this season.
New interim manager Ralf Rangnick then took over for their last match against Crystal Palace, with his pressing philosophy evident in their 1-0 victory, a scoreline that if anything flattered the Eagles.
They next head down south to face Norwich, themselves recently appointing a new manager in Dean Smith after sacking Daniel Farke.
Despite starting well with a 2-1 win over Southampton, the new manager ‘bounce effect’ already seems to have worn off, with a 0-0 draw at home to Wolves, a 1-1 draw at Newcastle (who played eighty minutes with ten men) and a 3-0 drubbing at Spurs the last time out comprising the Canaries results since he took over.
They seem to be marginally more organised under Smith than they did under Farke, but the issue of where the goals are coming from remain.
Striker Teemu Pukki has managed five in fifteen, but after him only three players have managed to score one goal all season, bringing them to a paltry total of eight.
Man Utd have played in midweek (at time of writing they’ve just drawn 1-1 with Young Boys).
However Ralf Rangnick has rested pretty much his entire first team for this which suggests that he’ll go with a strong line-up against Norwich, no doubt including Ronaldo up front.
I’m expecting a comfortable win for Man Utd here, and backing them to nil considering how toothless the Norwich attack is looks like a decent bet at decent odds against. 1 unit
La Liga – Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid – 1×2 Real Madrid @ 2.17
- Dom Rae
Real Madrid are sweeping all before them domestically and in Europe and were imperious in their 2-0 away victory at Real Sociedad at the weekend, despite losing Karim Benzema to injury early on in that game.
Atletico have been dogged by inconsistency throughout their campaign, but they managed to secure passage to the knockout phase of the Champions League in midweek by beating Porto 3-1 in the final group game.
However, that win followed a home defeat to Mallorca and they have chopped and changed their line up on a regular basis in recent games.
Their city rivals will be a tough assignment given their nine-match winning run, looking to make it a perfect ten and boosted by the return of Benzema.
Eder Militao was sensational against Sociedad and Vinicius Junior looks a threat whenever he picks up the ball, while Marco Asensio returned to the starting line up to score in midweek.
Madrid derbies in recent years have been low scoring affairs so under 2.5 goals is a solid play in this game but given the way Carlo Ancelotti has his Real team playing at the moment, the odds against on a home win looks worth getting stuck into on Saturday night. 1 unit
NFL – Cincinnati Bengals vs San Francisco 49ers – Cincinnati Bengals Winner (Incl. Overtime) @ 2.06
This is a match-up of two playoff-hopeful teams and each team is coming off of a loss in Week 13, although the 49ers was arguably worse against a bad Seahawks team.
Both are affected by injuries however it seems 49ers more so as Deebo Samuel continues to deal with an injury and Elijah Mitchell (RB) is also dealing with a concussion.
The Elijah Mitchell injury is relevant because the 49ers have gone from running on 48.3% to 56.1% of their offensive plays.
This plays to the strengths of the Cincinnati defence who allow 92.5 yards per game on the season, and this is down to just 67.3 in their last three.
Joe Burrow dislocating his pinky finger is a worry, but his limitations could be beneficial as they’ve got a red-hot Joe Mixon coming up against a 49ers rush defence who are the NFL fourth worst team for Rush TD conceded and 11th for Rush Yards per Carry conceded.
However, if Burrow is fully fit you’ve got the 11th NFL ranked QB targeting the potential ROTY, Ja’Marr Chase, with home-field advantage.
Against the 20th QB ranked Jimmy G – who threw two bad interceptions last time out – and with their best WR, Deebo Samuel, not fully fit at best, unavailable to play at worst, this looks like a bit of value on the home-team. 1 unit
CSGO IEM Winter Semi Final – Vitality vs Virtus Pro – Correct Score: Vitality 2:1 @ 3.30
VP have been impressive these past few matches, having taken down Gambit 2:0, now on a 3 game win streak.
Both teams seem evenly matched this tournament with Vitality also beating Gambit 2:1 and Nip 2:0.
Although I see Vitality winning this, I still feel VP’s recent performance should make this a close one. 1 unit
CSGO IEM Winter Semi Final – G2 vs Ninjas in Pyjamas – Map Handicap G2 -1.5 @ 2.70
Last time these two met in the Stockholm Major, NIP was demolished with a map score of 2-0 and both maps having a scoreline of 16-11.
It’s not that NIP was bad but G2 was performing on a different level, especially their prized player Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač.
Both teams will field one different player from their last meeting. NIP is now playing with “es3tag” who replaced “LNZ” while the legendary “kennyS” is replacing IGL “nexa” who was facing visa issues.
Still, I think the core line-up is intact and we might expect a replay of their previous match. 1 unit
English Premier League – Arsenal vs. Southampton – 1×2 Arsenal @ 1.66
Arsenal come into this match off 2 straight defeats on the road, but back playing at home against a lowly Southampton, should see them return to the winners column here.
After a woeful start to the season, Arsenal have moved back up to the top half of the table, on the back of their home form where they have won 5 of 7 matches so far.
While they have struggled against the top 6 with 3 points from 5 matches, when they have come up against weaker opposition such as Southampton they have been gotten results winning 6 of 10 matches played against teams below them on the table.
Southampton have been a constant fixture in Premier League for the past decade, and have produced some strong teams over the years, with many top 10 finishes or higher.
Their current team though isn’t of the same calibre of previous years, and this year they are more focused on avoiding relegation than finishing in the top half of the table.
They currently sit in 16th spot, and while they have managed to to scrape their way to some sort of result a number of times, with only 5 losses from their 15 games so far, I think Arsenal playing at home will prove too strong for them here, and they will continue their recent home form here. 1 unit
La Liga – Athletic Bilbao vs Sevilla FC – 1×2 – Sevilla FC @ 3.05
Here he is…
One of the most exciting games of La Liga this weekend will take place at Athletic Bilbao’s home.
Both teams have had a very similar conservative attacking approach this season which they have yet to master.
However, Sevilla has proven to be more successful in creating goal scoring opportunities and is currently sitting second, seven places above Bilbao.
Nevertheless, Bilbao are a tough team to play against, physical, tenacious and relentless, they will be sure to give Sevilla a hard time, especially at home.
But Sevilla’s winning form in La Liga is likely to continue as they take their mind off the Champions League and focus on chasing the La Liga leaders by snatching a win against Athletic Bilbao. 1 unit