Weekend Long Shots is all about bringing you well-researched punts at odds of 4/1 or greater and this week’s selections are Tottenham to beat Liverpool in a game of over 2.5 goals, West Brom to beat Swansea City in a game of under 2.5 goals and Walsall to beat Swindon Town. Over to you, Long Shot…
Sorry about the Long Shot’s absence last week, dear readers, but I did have a genuine excuse – I was feeling as sick as when Carlos Tevez saw the police in his rear-view mirror.
But to be fair, I did have a decent excuse. I mean, have you ever been on tour with Queens Park Rangers? Honestly, it makes what goes on in Stringfellows look like a night round Dot Cotton’s gaff.
And what’s more, I’d picked out a winner, too, before I had chance to get the bloody thing written, with the (not entirely original) pick of Gareth Bale to score the first goal in the north London derby landing at 5/1, which made me feel even more ill than I had before. And if you believe that….
Regardless of that missed opportunity, we still have £137 in the kitty based on a tenner on each tip, and back to full health (well, as healthy as I’m going to be, anyway) here are this week’s selections, which will help pay for that Mother’s Day present that I know you’ve forgotten all about.
Tottenham Hotspur to beat Liverpool and over 2.5 goals @ 19/4
I can barely believe the price on Tottenham to go to Anfield and beat Liverpool on Sunday, and if 14/5 on an away win is big enough, then we may as well go the whole way and take the 19/4 that there are over 2.5 goals as well.
A quote of 14/5 on an away win is ridiculous for many reasons, mainly that Tottenham, on a run of 16 wins and just two defeats in 23 matches, are a far better team, as a four-place and 12-point lead over their hosts shows.
As a record of seven wins in the last 11 meetings over Liverpool also indicates, Spurs have been in the habit of proving it over recent seasons.
But if that looks big, the 19/4 looks even bigger. Goals are almost guaranteed when Tottenham hit the road: 11 of their 14 away games have been over 2.5 goals, including seven of their eight wins.
And at a price the Long Shot can’t ignore, Gareth Bale (yes him) can fire Spurs to another such victory.
West Brom to beat Swansea and under 2.5 goals @ 17/4
There has to come a time when Swansea City players start thinking of the beach, and I am going to trust that it will start on Saturday when the Capital One Cup winners go to the Hawthorns to play West Brom.
Amassing 40 points with ten games left as well as winning a domestic trophy was beyond the wildest dreams of Michael Laudrup at the start of the season and despite the amazing job the Dane has done at the Liberty, even he will have his work cut out to stop the Swans’ season petering out.
It is human nature to switch off with the season’s objectives (and more) realised, and I think they will come a cropper against the Baggies.
West Brom have won eight home games this season – as many as Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham and fewer than only the Manchester clubs – and I think they can get the better of a de-motivated Swans.
But the reason I’m going on the unders is simple – Laudrup’s men have forgotten how to score on the road, failing to net in their last four away games, and hitting just 12 goals in 14 trips outside Wales.
Swansea have drawn nine blanks on the road, with ten of their games seeing under 2.5 goals. I think Saturday will be another one, at their expense.
Walsall to beat Swindon Town @ 17/4
Walsall have long been one of the form teams in League One and it is worth taking a chance on them going to the County Ground and picking up three points at the expense of a Swindon Town side that are still in a bit of a spin following the departure of Paolo Di Canio.
Kevin MacDonald may have taken the reins but I’m yet to be convinced that, post-protracted takeover saga, the Robins are fully over the fact their talismanic (and plain crazy) old boss has quit amid such recrimination.
The results suggest as much and Swindon are without a win in three home games, a run that includes a loss to second-bottom Bury (and that takes some doing).
Meanwhile, Walsall have been on a great run that has lifted them into the promotion picture.
Ten wins and two draws in their last 14 league games have taken the Saddlers to within seven points of Swindon and with a great chance of gatecrashing the promotion party.
That sequence features victories over high-flying Doncaster and Bournemouth as well as a win at MK Dons, and at the price, it is worth a go that Dean Smith’s side are celebrating another big scalp come 5pm on Saturday.