David has gone for a Bayer Leverkusen win at Nuremberg, West Ham to put Newcastle in even more danger, Montpellier to beat Brest and Swindon to get a first leg lead in their play-off semi against Brentford. Here is why…
It happened again! It has now been four times in the last five weeks that I have been just one goal from success, though to be fair on this occasion the offending team, Tottenham, barely managed to scrape a draw.
Well what a week it has been, with the all-German Champions League final confirmed, Chelsea and Benfica into the Europa League final and Aston Villa pulling the two North East clubs back into the relegation mire, it’s a shame that it’ll all be over by this time next month.
With such unpredictable scores flying all over the place (who called Villa 6-1 Sunderland? Be honest), this week’s coupon took a lot of sleuthing, and personally, I think it’s a good mix.
In any case, it should certainly keep your Saturday afternoon interesting, and yes, I’ve completely avoided the final Championship fixtures. I wouldn’t touch it with a seven foot Pole, no matter how many złoty he paid me.
If you agree with these selections they why not back them with the free £20 bet you get for opening a bwin account today? You could give yourself a shot at winnings of £257, which will be enough for me to buy my Champions League final ticket, with enough left over for my Jurgen Klopp costume.
Leverkusen to beat Nuremberg @ 17/20
Last time I backed Leverkusen, they won 5-0, which was nice of them.
Sami Hyypia has enjoyed a good first season in charge at the BayArena alongside Sascha Lewandowski, who is set to step aside at the end of the season, leaving the big Finn in sole control.
Seven points in front of Schalke and eight points behind Dortmund, it looks certain that Leverkusen will finish in third spot in the Bundesliga, which when you consider that only the Champions League finalists are above them, is not bad going.
Nuremberg had been on a decent run, but have lost their way in the last month, losing three games on the bounce, including defeat to lowly Furth in their last home fixture.
The visitors are unbeaten in five, winning three of them, and look good to make it four losses in a row for Michael Wiesinger’s side.
West Ham to beat Newcastle @ 13/10
Last week must have been rather difficult to be a Newcastle fan, not that it’s ever a smooth ride at St James’ Park.
Alan Pardew’s men were absolutely destroyed by a rampant Liverpool on their own turf, being beaten 6-0 and having their goal difference go down faster than a bowling ball thrown from a skyscraper.
Seeing their fierce rivals getting equally thumped on Monday night will have initially cheered them up, until they realised that Villa’s win meant they dropped to 17th place, teetering just above Wigan in the relegation zone.
West Ham are safe, but they have shown in recent games that they are not ready to take their foot off the pedal, beating Wigan and then running Manchester City close at the Etihad last week.
With Newcastle’s confidence shattered, Mathieu Debuchy suspended and Sam Allardyce and Andy Carroll determined to get one over their former employers, I expect the North East outfit to get ‘Hammered’ again this week, well, beaten anyway.
Montpellier to beat Brest @ 11/25
Any excuse to talk about Brest in this article, as regular readers will attest to. I will do my best to avoid tasteless puns, wouldn’t want to make a boob of myself.
Ahem, in all seriousness, Brest have been on an appalling run of late, losing their last seven in Ligue 1, only scoring once in that time, and sitting second from bottom.
Montpellier have not exactly defended their title well, and are actually in a pretty poor run of form themselves, only picking up four points from their last six games and find themselves in eighth place.
However, a team of players made up entirely of mannequins would fancy their chances of a draw against Brest at the moment, and so I can’t look past a home win in this one.
Swindon to beat Brentford @ 11/10
Every now and again you have to look past statistics and just place a bet based on common sense, and this selection is almost entirely based on the lack of common sense from Brentford last weekend.
They were 12-yards from the Championship, only for teenage loanee Marcelo Trotta to smash a last minute penalty against the bar, allowing opponents Doncaster to go up the other end to score and book their own place in England’s second tier.
Many have questioned the decision to allow Trotta to take the kick, but all of that must be forgotten as Uwe Rosler’s men look to go up anyway via the play-off route.
Swindon have lost some momentum since Paolo Di Canio left the County Ground, but Kevin Macdonald managed to ensure qualification for the play-offs and will fancy his chances against a Bees side who will have a lot of demons to overcome after last week.
The visitors only had the tenth best away record in League One this season, while Swindon boast the sixth best home record, and you can never underestimate the mental damage an occasion like last weekend could have caused to Rosler’s side.
Follow David on Twitter @whichdave