There’s not getting away from it – this weekend was nasty for punters. One or two of the slip-ups were more predictable than others, but the bottom line is there were precious few winning accas landed over the weekend. Here’s the low down on the the heroes and villains of a remarkable football weekend.
The Weekend Hero
Premier League players doing punters a solid were in short supply over the weekend, but one team that the punters backed heavily and didn’t balls things up were Liverpool at Tottenham. After losing to City on Monday, the Reds were under a wee bit of pressure not to go into the international break on the back of two defeats and they came good.
With such a good team performance, it’s hard to pick out any individual, but Alberto Moreno was the toast of a surprisingly large number of overly optimistic Liverpool-supporting Paddy Power punters who backed the 3-0 scoreline at tasty odds of 25/1, including a handful of punters who had £50 on it. His brilliant solo goal completed the scoring and helped make up for his concrete-booted defending against City.
We would say Diego Costa for his First Goalscorer exploits after about 45 seconds of the Everton v Chelsea game. That landed a winner for thousands of Paddy Power customers. But he was supposed to be crocked for a few weeks yet miraculously rose from the treatment table so a few people probably avoided him like the Toffees rear-guard avoided competent defending. That’s not ideal. And Tim Howard should have been sent off for this:
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) August 30, 2014
Top of the Flops
From all the overly dismissive media hype, Stoke were rocking up to the Etihad Stadium with an extra large supply of metaphorical KY Jelly for the vigourous metaphorical pounding they were going to get from Manchester City. That turned out to be about as accurate as a Transfer Deadline Day rumour as the Potters snatched a victory that was far less scrappy and underdoggy than may have been anticipated. It meant the 1/4 favourites failed to deliver, destroying thousands of accas like Geordie Shore destroys British society’s sense of self-esteem.
After beating Liverpool convincingly on Monday, City failed to get into their stride and only managed two shots on target in 90 minutes, thanks largely to the type of committed defending we normally hate from Stoke when they’re playing anyone other than one of the big boys.
City’s hamfisted attempts to score against Stoke (via Sqwaka)
Special mentions also for the acca busting ineptitude of Real Madrid (4/9), Manchester United (4/7), Celtic (4/9) and Bayern Munich (4/9) who all dropped their pants took a dump on our hopes of glory by failing to win. Thanks for that lads.
One To Watch
A couple of extra time wins in the Coca Carling Cup have somewhat hidden the fact Bolton have started the league campaign appallingly and the situation got even worse on Saturday as they slipped to defeat at the hands of Leeds. That’s Leeds – the club who sacked a manager every couple of days and who themselves have looked likely to be dragged down into the relegation mud-wrestle. Dougie Freedman has a decent squad at his disposal, but they’re vastly under-performing. He might have it sorted out by the time they host Sheffield Wednesday at the Reebok in a couple of weeks time, but he might not, so the Trotters are worth opposing until things improve. They’re only 3/1 to make the drop to League One.
Obligatory Manager Under Pressure
We’re tempted to say Louis van Gaal after he failed to get his first win as a United manager at Burnley, but he’s been given a gazillion pounds to spend, which normally doesn’t scream ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’. He’s now 12/1 from 33/1 in the Sack Race betting, but that seems unlikely, even if it takes a while to get up and running this season.
The attention has to fall on Sam Allardyce who after guiding West Ham to a good win at Crystal Palace last week, slumped to a disappointing spanking at home to Southampton. Now they’re actually scoring goals, but they can’t defend. He’s in to 15/8 from 3/1 to be the Next Manager Sacked.
Get Him On The Plane!
Yes, at 5 foot 5 and weighing slightly more than a bag of wet gym gear, he sometimes looks like one of the mascots who has accidentally stayed on the pitch for a bit of a kick-around, but Nathan Dyer scored two against West Brom (at odds of 19/1 – one person back it) to take his tally to the season for three. England have no shortage of diminutive, tricky wingers who can beat a defender seven times, but Dyer’s ability to provide an end product is an interesting novelty.
He’s scored three goals from his only three shots this season for a 100% strike rate. Obviously that can’t last in the long-term but who cares about the long-term when all you need is one flash in the pan performance away to Switzerland?
He’s the subject of this weeks knee-jerk love-in and the Jamaican FA have also been sniffing around, so get the finger out, Roy.