The end of the year is in sight, with some clubs looking back with fondness, while others cannot wait to put it behind them. Today, we will look at four sides playing in England on New Year’s Eve who seem certain to send their fans home happy.
Football betting fans who use their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com on our latest accumulator will win £275 – just about enough to be admitted entrance to the average pub tonight….
Manchester United to beat Blackburn Rovers @ 11/100
Let’s starting our accumulator off with an obvious one – backing United against the Premier League’s bottom club is a no-brainer. Since the 6-1 hammering at the hands of ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City, United have won eight of their last nine matches, with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle the lone blemish on that record.
They are also firing on all cylinders at the sharp end of the pitch with 16 goals in their last four games – and with only one goal conceded in that time, the champions are in classic festive form.
Blackburn look much worse for wear, languishing in the bottom spot at Christmas, which has generally been the worst omen possible where relegation is concerned. Although they got a draw against Liverpool at Anfield last time out, they haven’t won in their last four. The pressure on Steve Kean is almost too much for other managers to bear and even though Blackburn were once a bogey team for the champions, I can really only see this going one way.
Stoke City to beat Wigan Athletic @ 13/20
No one wants to play Stoke at the Britannia. Just ask Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, all of whom have come away from the Potteries slightly bruised and battered this season – and without maximum points.
Wigan got hammered 5-0 at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, but they have been in better form recently. They managed to steal three points from Stoke last season, but I doubt they can repeat the feat this term.
Stoke will look to their wide men to exploit the spaces behind the Latics’ wing-backs and drag their three centre-halves out of position. With Peter Crouch (if fit) and Jon Walters offering superb targets for crosses into the box, they should have more than enough in the tank to send Roberto Martinez’s men away empty-handed.
Barnsley to beat Leeds United @ 7/4
On the face of it, this selection comes straight out of left-field, but Barnsley have been a notorious thorn in Leeds’ side the past few seasons. Since their return to the Championship, Leeds have never beaten Barnsley, losing twice and drawing once. This includes a 2-1 win for Barnsley at Elland Road earlier this season and a 5-2 thriller at Oakwell last term.
While Leeds might be further up in the table, this game has banana skin written all over it for me. At great odds of 7/4, how could I pass up putting this on the accumulator?
Stevenage to beat Wycombe Wanderers @ 5/4
It seems as though when Stevenage get promoted, they take to their new league like a duck to water. Sitting in a very impressive sixth as the turn of the year beckons, Graham Westley’s men have silently progressed up the table, beating the likes of Sheffield United and Charlton along the way. A thumping 6-1 win at Colchester last time out also extended their unbeaten run in League One to ten matches.
Wycombe, on the other hand, are languishing barely above the drop zone. They have slowly picked up a little bit of form with home wins over Exeter and Chesterfield, plus a draw at Carlisle, in recent weeks. But before that they had lost four of their previous five matches at Adams Park and Stevenage have enough quality to get the job done here.
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