Last weekend was great for us in our betting experiment as we correctly backed three home wins (Bayern Munic×™, Roma and Braga) which put ourselves that much closer from getting out of the red and into the black.
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Onto this week’s tips and we’re opting for a split pronged attack method as we hope to protect ourselves with a set of home bankers and then go for glory with an educated bet on a pair of away wins.
Many on Tyneside have been quoted as saying that getting relegated was a good thing for Newcastle, as the Toon have adapted well to life in the Championship from the moment they arrived in the second tier. The Magpies have lead the way at the top from day one, and this weekend St James’ Park welcomes Preston to the north-east. The task is daunting for Preston, whose sketchy away form has seen them ship four goals at Bristol City and five goals at Derby in midweek. With the Toon defending an 18-game unbeaten home record, the task looks ominous for the visitors.
Barcelona suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend in La Liga as they fell at bogey team Atletico Madrid. The Catalans will be desperate to right the wrong of last weekend, and they have one of their favourite teams to get back on the winning trail as Racing Santander come to town. Although Racing have a decent away record of late, with four wins in their last 6 road trips, they haven’t beaten Barcelona in their last 12 attempts with their last victory being back in January 2004.
It’s a similar story over in Belgium, where league leaders Anderlecht suffered a freak league defeat last weekend to Sint-Truiden after a run of 13 unbeaten matches in which they won 12. With Club Brugge still seven points behind in second, Anderlecht are still very much in pole position to win the league, and they welcome KV Mechelen on Sunday – a team famed by their inability to beat big teams. Mechelen have only managed one victory over of the top four clubs in the league this season as they struggle to avoid mid-table insignificance sitting 9th in the 16 team league.
Lastly, Sunday in Holland sees leaders PSV host fourth-bottom Sparta as the Eindhovers picked up only their second defeat in a staggering 49 games at Hamburg in the Europa League. The Rotterdammers are the perfect cannon-fodder for the hosts having lost nine and drawn one of their last ten games against PSV.
As for our second bet, we’re throwing a little bit caution to the wind in an effort to win big.
Saturday in the Premier League sees Pompey, fresh from their local FA Cup derby win at Southampton, return to face their relegation woes as Stoke come to town. The Potters are a side built to wear down their opposition through tough physical play and aerial bombardments in the final third, and that type of “up n’ at ’em” attitude could prove extremely difficult for Portsmouth with a defence likely to include Hayden Mullins filling in at right-back.
Flipping to Greece, the latest versionÂ of Team America is taking shape at the surprise home of Hector Kuper’s Aris Thessaloniki. The black and golds, riding high after back to back victories, this weekend take their US forward-line of Freddy Adu (two in two) and Eddie Johnson to the capital as they take on the team one place above them in the table, fourth-placed AEK.
AEK are formidable domestically, and in striker Nacho Scocco they have a serial-goalscorer who can unlock any defence in the division. But AEK are slightly weakend this weekend with Polish playmaker Roger Guerrero and on-loan Liverpool forward Krisztian Nemeth both unavailable. And with Aris flying high at present, they could upset the odds and claim a fantastic victory.