We know more than anyone (apart from Ryan Giggs) that Playing Away is all about taking a chance and that sometimes you can (literally) get caught with your pants down. But this week, we are going to accept the risks because we like the look of West Ham United and Sunderland to beat Wigan Athletic and Stoke City respectively and their prices appear far too big, while Tottenham Hotspur have the beating of Southampton. I mean, who doesn’t?
By using the free £20 bet you get when you register with bwin, you can back any of these sides in a single, or all three in a treble that could return a juicy £446.40.
West Ham United to beat Wigan Athletic @ 21/10
Wigan Athletic have already started their annual mid-winter hibernation and an in-form West Ham United team look like a monster price to go and win at the DW Stadium.
One day, Roberto Martinez might find that his trick of sleepwalking through most of the season only to put a run together right at the end won’t be enough to save the Latics from relegation and this is the time to be opposing Wigan as often as possible.
And with the Hammers at that price, Saturday looks ideal. West Ham have adapted to the Premier League brilliantly, winning points against exactly the sort of teams they need to win points against to survive with something to spare. They pummelled Southampton last time out and look far more street-wise than Wigan, who always seem fragile despite the good football.
Martinez’s men have won just four of the last 21 league games at home, all of which came in that barely credible run at the end of last season, and with West Ham good on the road (nobody won more away points in last year’s Championship) that 21/10 looks huge to me.
Read a full betting preview of Wigan v West Ham here.
Sunderland to beat Stoke City @ 3/1
This is one that might take a bit of convincing to include on the coupon as both sides are pretty poor, but I look at that price on Sunderland to go and win at Stoke and, much like the one with West Ham, it is surely too big.
There isn’t much between these sides, as the league table shows: both teams are in the bottom half with eight points to their name after winning just one game each so far this season.
The similarities don’t end there, with both teams basing their strategy on solid foundations, playing direct football and relying on one big-money striker to get goals.
As such, while I admit any result here would hardly be a shock, I think the value lies with the Black Cats. They have a little bit more about them and I always shudder when the Potters are odds-on – I don’t think they should be that short to beat anyone in the Premier League, frankly.
Sunderland won at the Britannia last season and can repeat the trick at 3/1.
Read a full betting preview of Stoke v Sunderland here.
Tottenham Hotspur to beat Southampton @ 4/5
This one is far more straightforward. That the Saints have struggled to adapt to life back in the big league is perhaps not much of a surprise – they were playing League One football just two seasons ago – but they have looked particularly ill-equipped for top-flight football and Tottenham should have no trouble in seeing them off at St Mary’s.
Southampton just cannot stop leaking goals, with 24 of them already flying in the back of their net in just eight games. You can work out yourself that is three goals a game and you just cannot win matches if you are letting in that many goals.
With just four points won all season, Nigel Adkins’ side look set to struggle badly as they sit in the relegation zone and Spurs can inflict more misery on them.
Tottenham have been good on the road and remain unbeaten since their very unfortunate defeat to Newcastle on the first day of the campaign. Andre Villas-Boas’ men have won their last two away league trips against Reading and Manchester United, scoring three times in both matches, and can fill their boots against Southampton’s leaky rearguard.