Everything was set: with Swansea having given a biffing to West Ham in the early kick off, we were just three games away from affording to buy our very own bwin lion (where did that delivery man get to?). Bradford were destroying AFC Wimbledon, while Coventry and Wolves held comfortable leads. But then the Sky Blues threw away a cheap goal against Bury and Stale Solbakken’s side concede a late equaliser to Derby. How quickly a bank holiday weekend can be ruined.
With Andy Thorn relieved of his position at the City of Coventry Stadium (I honestly had nothing to do with it, despite my angry letter), I have decided to give Coventry a second chance on the flawless basis of caretaker managers having better records than permanent ones. I have also thrown Swansea back on the coupon as I would currently trust Michael Laudrup with my life, and the Blades of Bramall Lane (what a great kids TV show that might have been) complete our line-up.
If you agree with these selections then by all means use the free £20 bet you receive for opening a bwin account to give yourself the possibility of taking home £202. Perhaps you could buy a lion of your own to take to games. You’ll find a lot more space opens up for you even if it’s a sell out.
Swansea to beat Sunderland @ 6/5
You should always back a horse in form, and there is no horse with more form than the one galloping around the Liberty Stadium at the moment.
With eight goals scored and none conceded in their two games so far, the Welsh outfit are motoring their way towards their target of bettering the points total of 47 achieved in their debut Premier League season.
Sunderland got the better of the Swans in their last meeting, winning 2-0 at the Stadium of Light in January, but Martin O’Neill’s men, along with new recruits Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson, should find them tougher opposition on Welsh soil.
Swansea lost just four times at home in the league last season, while Sunderland won just four away. With the likes of Michu and Danny Graham looking sharp, and the Black Cats yet to score a Premier League goal (albeit after only one game) take the 6/5 Laudrup’s side get the first tick on this week’s coupon.
Sheffield United to beat Bournemouth @ 4/5
When Danny Wilson’s side agonizingly lost to Huddersfield in the League One play-off final penalty shoot-out in May, the realisation that United would be a division behind rivals Wednesday must have sent fans’ blood pressure through the roof.
The Blades had the second best home record in League One last season, winning 16 of 23 matches at Bramall Lane. The Cherries on the other hand won only six times on their travels in 2011/12, and still haven’t quite settled down after an extensive and expensive squad rebuilding programme over the summer.
If the Blades have any chance of sealing automatic promotion to England’s second tier, these are the sort of games they must win, and they did just that in both games against Bournemouth last year.
With both teams undefeated so far this season (the south coast side have drawn all three) something has to give, and at 4/5 I am very willing to bet that it will be the Yorkshire outfit who come out on top on Saturday.
Coventry City to beat Crewe @ 31/20
Last week, Coventry dropped points to a team with no manager. This week they hope the boot will be on the other foot when they face Crewe.
After a third draw in a row at the start of their League One campaign, Andy Thorn was shown the door. Former players Richard Shaw and Lee Carsley stepped in to oversee Tuesday’s 3-2 Capital One Cup win over Birmingham.
There is some sort of magic (I can only assume a witch’s spell) that causes teams to play better just after they’ve lost their manager. Bury proved it only last week, as they grabbed a draw at the City of Coventry Stadium, and Coventry themselves raised their game as they dumped Lee Clark’s Birmingham out of the League Cup.
League One new boys Crewe lost their only home game of the season so far to Notts County on the opening day, and were on the end of a 5-1 pasting at Brentford last week. With that in mind, 31/20 seems outrageously good value on the Midlands club as they complete this week’s accumulator.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Clacton-on-Sea with a big net and some cat treats. Happy punting!
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