Latest Mark Hughes Sack Race odds sees him as 1/2 favourite

Yesterday’s thrashing from Chelsea has seen Stoke City boss, Mark Hughes, consolidate himself at the top of the Next Manager To Leave his Position Betting.

Both Paddy Power and Betfair have Hughes as their 1/2 favourite to be the next manager out, despite Hughes’ bullish confidence that he believes his position to be safe.

Sympathy For Hughes?

I do have an element of sympathy with Mark Hughes. He was always on a hiding to nothing yesterday at Chelsea. Eyeing the bigger picture, Hughes left out Peter Crouch, Xherdan Shaqiri and Joe Allen, saving them for the Bank Holiday Monday fixture against Newcastle, as that is obviously a match which will have more bearing at the bottom of the league.

Having said that, had Stoke performed better in recent weeks, then Hughes wouldn’t be in this position. So it’s hard to have too much sympathy, you are where you are for a reason.

Dum Decision?

Next in the betting is Southampton’s Mauricio Pellegrino, the same two firms have him as 15/8 second favourite. Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that Claude Puel is the greatest manager in the history of football, and he has had a reasonable start at Leicester, a relatively stable club.

But on the face of it, sacking Puel at the end of last season looks to be one of the dumbest decisions in football. The Frenchman led the Saints to 8th in the Premier League, and to the EFL Cup final, were they only narrowly lost to Man Utd.

Sacking him is not quite up there with the Gary Rowett decision at Birmingham City, but it certainly ain’t too far behind it when it comes to daft decisions!

Charlie Austin Throws His Hat Into World Cup Ring

There isn’t a lot of time left to convince Gareth Southgate if you are on the fringes of the England squad and not in the England managers immediate thoughts. With almost half of the season having been played time is most certainly running out as the Three Lions boss will have an idea of who he would prefer to take to next summers World Cup. There is even less room to impress for any English strikers that harbour any hope of receiving a pick.

The form of Harry Kane this season and general upward trajectory of his career have made the young Londoner arguably the most valuable striker in not only Europe but the world. There won’t be many other seats on the plane specifically designated for strikers that are headed to Moscow with Kane’s ticket seemingly already booked. There is no better time to strike then while the iron is hot and if any player is going to come into form then doing it on the home stretch before the World Cup would almost guarantee selection, that anyway would be how Charlie Austin hopes how proceedings would play out.

Charlie Austin’s Purple Patch

The Southampton striker has now scored 4 goals in his last 5 games and is beginning to get the attention of the England fans. Austin is a natural goal scorer and has been doing it his whole career. During his time at Swindon, Burnley and QPR before he arrived at Southampton, he scored 128 goals in 242 games which works out to a goal every 1.8 games. Life on the coast at Southampton has been a bit harder with Austin averaging a goal every 2.8 games, his record reads 15 goals in 45 games which is by no means poor but could be higher.

Southampton FC versus West Ham

Injury has made its presence felt throughout Austin’s career and without a doubt has impacted his goal return at Southampton. The man from Hungerford had scored nine goals before December last season when he dislocated his shoulder during a Europa League clash against Hapoel Be’er Sheva. It has been stop-start since December 2016 and Austin will be hoping his injury woes are behind him so he can focus on doing what he does best – putting the ball in the back of the net.

If he can stay fit then history indicates Austin will score goals and help Southampton climb the league. The added bonus that comes with scoring goals frequently for the Saints is that Austin will put himself on Southgate’s radar. He may have done so already with his odds being slashed from 33/1 for World Cup selection to now being backed at 10/1 on the latest odds provided by Oddschecker. Austin will have to be at his best and injury free if he is to get the nod from Southgate as there isn’t a lack of striking options for the England manager to pick from.

Competition Facing Austin

Barring injury it seems unlikely that the ever-improving Jamie Vardy won’t be selected by Southgate. The Leicester City man has been enjoying another fruitful season with the Foxes and has been sniffing out chances on a regular basis. In 17 games Vardy has seven goals and one assist, that goal return isn’t anything like a couple of seasons back during Leicesters title-winning season but there has been managerial change after Craig Shakespeare was fired which always suggests a team hasn’t been playing well. Through that Vardy has made the most and will be a player Austin will have to compete against.

Marcus Rashford is enjoying a promising follow-up to his breakthrough season and has nine goals in 26 appearances for the Red Devils. What is most impressive about the young Mancunian’s display is his ability to not only score goals but assist. He has nine assists to his name in his 26 games which adds another dimension to his game. Rashford’s odds of making the World Cup squad are in some cases 1/10. His contribution at next year’s World Cup should he be selected will be crucial if England hopes to advance far in the tournament.

Southgate’s Potential Selections

With Harry Kane all but assured of a place in Russia next year the likely additions to accompany Kane would be Vardy and Rashford who seem the most probable selections. Austin would be competing with the likes of Sturridge and Welbeck for the opportunity to become the fourth striker. There is a chance if chosen Rashford will be used as a winger which would greatly increase Austin’s chances of going to his maiden World Cup.

Austin is yet to register an England cap, but that doesn’t necessarily rule him out, although puts the 28-year-old at a slight disadvantage as there are younger players with more international honours. At 20 Rashford has 15 caps which has yielded two goals. Welbeck and Sturridge have 62 England caps combined and Harry Kane has 23.

Welbeck takes on Pinto

It is not only the youth knocking loudly at Southgate’s door but also the more seasoned campaigners. The England boss could turn to Jermain Defoe if he was looking for a bit more guile and nous up front. The Bournemouth striker has 57 England caps and 20 goals and is no stranger to international football but also no stranger to World Cup selection heartache as the former Spurs man was snubbed by England in 2006 and the latest being in 2014, that left Defoe ‘heartbroken’.

The End of Season Bunfight

The only way to guarantee Gareth Southgate’s undivided attention is to be prolific in front of goal. Realistically there are only a few spots left open in Southgate’s squad but a strong showing in the New Year and over Easter will do no harm. For a player like Charlie Austin who has been hamstrung by injuries that have curtailed possible game time for England the only way to get in would be to smash down Southgate’s door with the sheer weight of goals scored.

Harry Kane

Will Southgate Roll the Dice?

There is a huge amount of risk attached to picking an unknown quantity that a manager takes when doing so. This is especially the case when trying to assemble a squad to win a World Cup. England are long overdue a good run in a World Cup and the pressure on the England camp will be intense. Selecting a player like Austin will have grave consequences if there are other players available with more experience and proven international record. The guillotine would fall squarely on Southgate’s shoulders should the experiment fail.

If Charlie Austin kept up his prowess in front of goal and earned a pick from Southgate it could be looked at as a stroke of genius especially if the Southampton striker netted a few crucial goals for England that helped them progress further than they have gone for some time. Southgate will have to way up the risk and the possible reward he and England may get. With any risk-taking, there is a chance of failure, but maybe England needs to push the envelope and adopt a bolder approach.

For too long England have been unimaginative and predictable at World Cups which has resulted in a string of bad to mediocre finishes. Their selection policy is one part of the problem and if Southgate wants to be the man to finally deliver a World Cup back to England after a 52 year wait then he will need to be courageous with the decisions he makes.

Tried and Tested Approach Has Failed England

Even if a conservative setup has yet to benefit England in modern times it would be as foolish to be gung-ho with selection. If a player is in form going into a World Cup then there needs to be a break away from tradition and pick them. Capitalizing on players form is one way to ensure England don’t come out the blocks cold and lethargic during the group games. These last few months of the league should be as crucial as the yearly build up with all players in contention.

Liverpool V Everton Bookings Spread 46 to 50

Liverpool take on Everton in the first Merseyside Derby of the season later today (kick-off 2.15pm), and with Sam Allardyce having had time to work on the Everton defence, it’s hard to know what might happen today.

Liverpool’s attacking 4 have been banging them in left, right, and centre lately, with Mohamad Salah currently the Premier Leagues’ top scorer, but with the Red’s a predominately a counter-attacking team, and Everton likely to be working on shoring up their defence, today could possibly be a tight turgid affair.

While on the other hand, if Liverpool get an early goal, it could be a long hard afternoon for the Toffees. It’s hard to call either way.

One thing that can be taken as a given, is that any Merseyside Derby will be a very competitive affair, and that will no doubt apply to this match, especially given Everton’s current predicament. If they can’t compete on a footballing level, they will obviously look to even things up by other methods.

Given there is likely to be no quarter given by either side, a competitive match might lead to a few bookings, and maybe even a Red Card. At the moment the Bookings spread with Sporting Index is Sell at 46, and you can Buy bookings at 50.

Spice up the Premier League this Xmas with some Arsenal betting specials

With the 2017/18 English Premier League season now in full swing, there is a clutch of big games during December which will go a long way in sorting the wheat from the chaff at both ends of the table.

As things stand, there is a stale look to the ‘Outright Betting’ markets for the Premier League, simply because it looks as though Manchester City are away and gone.

Unbeaten in 15 games with 14 victories so far, Pep Guardiola’s City are yet to skip a beat. Remarkably, their main striker Sergio Aguero has only netted 9 of their 46 goals in the top flight this season, with Harry Kane and the lightning hot Mo Salah bossing the Premier League ‘Golden Boot’ race on double figures already.

The Blues have been helped no end by the emergence of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus as top class attacking midfielders / strikers in their own right.

City rivals Manchester United are also playing some seriously good football this season and have won 11 of their 15 matches, yet sit still sit 8 points off the leaders, who are loking good things to lift the trophy at the end of the season barring a complete disaster.

If you want to spice up your weekend’s football bets why not place a bet on a Premier league game with Freebets.co.uk. One way to do that is by betting on the ‘Specials’ markets with your favourite bookmakers online; or maybe even try out a new bookie and grab yourself a free welcome bet to boot.

Take SkyBet’s special football betting markets on Arsenal for example – they currently offer ‘Arsenal To Finish Higher Than’ betting odds.

The first is their fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur where Arsenal are 8/13 (1.63) to finish ahead of Spurs with the Gunners currently sitting 3 points ahead of them as things stand.

Second in this market at 11/8 (2.38) is Liverpool, who are in fourth place, a point above Arsenal. However, Arsenal and fourth place is a bit of a magnet pairing in recent years and as well as Liverpool are doing now, they could be over-reliant on the fitness of Mohamed Salah, so don’t be surprised to see that 11/8 bet land comfortably.

Next up in the market of four is fellow Londoners Chelsea at 5/2 (3.50), which will obviously be a little more difficult to catch. The West Londoners have shipped three losses already, but are starting to find some real form at just the right time and Arsenal will have to enjoy a serious run of results just to get on terms with the Blues, let alone go ahead of them.

Catching Manchester United is the 5/1 outsider bet, but the odds of 11/8 about Arsenal finishing ahead of Liverpool is a very tempting bet.

So while the ‘Outright Winner’ market for the Premier League might have a ‘no-play’ look to it, there is are plenty of other football betting opportunities for you to look out for, along with a wide range of pre-match markets such as “First Goalscorer” and Scorecasts.

Use your imagination and shop around the more obscure markets and you can unearth some real value bets to spice up your Christmas football betting.

Man City quadruple odds into 50/1 after Huddersfield win

City have started the season like a juggernaut, and one that is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.

At the moment City can be backed to win the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, and Caraboa Cup at a best price of 50/1 with Betfair.

They are currently unbeaten in 13 in the Premier League, 8 points clear at the top, they are into the quarter-finals of the Caraboa Cup, and they have eased through their Champions League group, and are currently second favourites in the Champions League Betting.

When a team is in such form, talk about going unbeaten in the league all season, and how many trophies that team might win, seem to become prominent, and this is exactly what’s happening with City such is their current form.

They have players such as Kevin De Bruyne in outstanding form and currently sitting pretty as the favourite in Player Of The Year Betting, and the likes of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Sergio Aguero are scoring for fun. If they can keep this form going, there is a real possibility City could become the first English side to complete the quadruple.

Huddersfield 11/8 for the drop after City defeat

Huddersfield’s loss at home to Manchester City along with 3 points for Crystal Palace yesterday, has seen the Yorkshire club become second favourites in the latest Relegation Betting.

David Wagner’s team are now a best price of 11/8 with Betfair and Betvictor for the drop after this latest – all be it – expected setback. In fairness to The Terriers, they more than gave City a match, and if you do fancy them to stay up, there was some positive signs today.

Favourites for the drop are Swansea after a goalless draw at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, they are 4/11 with William Hill, who have Palace at 6/4, West Ham at 7/4, and West Brom at 9/4.

Speaking of Swansea, and their manager, Paul Clement, is the new favourite in Next Manager To Leave His Position Betting, replacing Watford’s Marco Silva at the top of the market. Clement is currently 7/4 with Betvictor, with Silva (still rumoured to be interested in moving to Everton) at 4/1 second favourite with Paddy Power and Betfair.

Everton got their second decent thrashing in the space of 4 days with a 4-1 defeat away at Southampton, another team who aren’t exactly pulling up any trees. That’s just the 9 goals conceded in 2 matches for Everton (after losing 5-1 to Atalanta in the Europa League last Thursday), surely the need to appoint a new manager is now paramount, as the situation is just getting beyond the joke at Goodison Park now.

There is another round of Premier League fixtures midweek, so chances are even if Everton act quickly, they still won’t have him in charge in time for the home match against West Ham on Wednesday night.

Arsenal V Tottenham Over/Under Goals Betting

The North London Derby kicks off the weekend’s football action live on Sky Sports (you can watch live without a Sky TV subscription through NowTV), and with all the attacking talent on show, we are hoping for a few goals to get the weekend off to a good start.

I’m not expecting a 0-0 draw, so we can by-pass Over/Under 0.5 Goals betting. Harry Kane and Dele Alli are expected to return for Tottenham, and Arsenal will be hoping to have Danny Welbeck fit (probably for the bench), as they have the likes of Sanchez, Ozil, and new signing Alexandre Lacazette to choose from.

Over/Under 1.5 Goals Betting – If you are expecting a tight tetchy affair, then Under 1.5 goals is 17/4 with 888Sport, while Over 1.5 goals is a very short looking 2/9 with Betfair.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals Betting – Backing Over 2.5 goals seems an obvious bet, it’s currently a best price of 8/13 with Paddy Power, which seems short to me. Under 2.5 goals is at 13/10 with William Hill.

Over/Under 3.5 Goals Betting – If I was looking to back goals, this would be my call. Over 3.5 goals is 6/4 with Betvictor, and represents better value than Over 2..5 goals does in my view. Under 3.5 goals is 17/10 with Betfair.

Over/Under 4.5 Goals Betting If you fancy a bit of 3-2 either way, or maybe even 4-1 to someone, then Over 1.5 goals can be backed with Betfred at 7/2. Under 4.5 goals is a short looking 2/9 with Ladbrokes and Coral.

Over/Under 5.5 Goals Betting – a 3-3 thriller resulting in Over 5.5 goals coming in is a best price of 9/1 with Betfair. The safer looking Under 5.5 goals is a more modest 1/12 with Ladbrokes. It’s as short as 1/20 with some layers.

Can you make a living as a professional gambler?

Every football fan enjoys putting a few pounds on his or her favourite team from time to time, and in the modern age of online betting, there are all manner of other wagers to be had, too. For example, the bookmakers went crazy over who was going where during the transfer window, and perennial classics such as which Premiership manager will win the sack race are as popular as ever.

Some of us are pretty good at it, and win more than we lose, while a select few even manage to make a lucrative living from gambling. Could you do the same? Let’s see what’s involved.

Get to know the bookmakers

The first thing to keep in mind is there are more online casino and sports betting sites around these days than you can imagine. If you click here you can get a taste of just what is out there. Get to know them all, and always check the odds, as you can sometimes find some outliers and special deals on a particular wager.

It is also worth watching out for new sites as and when they go online, as they are likely to be hungry for your business and will be offering some tempting freebies to new members.

Leverage the flexibility of online betting

If you bet on winners and losers, your strike rate is never going to be anything to write home about. But as we mentioned earlier, there are so many other options. For example, you might wait till a game is underway, and if play is open and one team’s taken the lead, bet on a goal being scored in the second half.

Giroud celebrates his goal 5

Keep good records

If you are running a business, you closely monitor your expenses, revenue and profits. You will also have a business strategy that includes performance metrics and targets. A professional gambler needs to take the same approach.

Keep track of every wager, along with the type, the odds, the amount and, of course, whether it won. Then, perform a weekly analysis. You need to identify what is working and what is not, and amend your strategy appropriately. It is a classic example of a continuous improvement process.

Know your business

It sounds obvious, but you need to understand what you are betting on, and that means research, research, research. Follow form, injuries, history and the million and one other factors that can influence a result, such as any problems or media controversies taking place off the pitch.

It’s business, not pleasure

If you are going to make serious money out of football gambling, you need to keep the emotion out of it. For example, if you are a lifelong Tottenham fan, it would have been tempting to put your money where your heart is in last weekend’s match up against Manchester United. That would have led to a bad day at the office and a slump in revenue.

Finding your ideal betting strategy to score

AFC Bournemouth v Blackburn...Pugh shoots

There’s no doubt about it: betting and gambling has really taken off in the last few years. In fact, according to the Gambling Commission, in 2016 almost £14 billion was wagered in the UK.

Fuelling a great deal of this increase has been the runaway success of online betting through a number of routes including casinos, bookmakers and bingo sites. The scale of this increase is underlined by the fact that in 2009, £817 million was wagered online – but by 2016 this figure had risen to £4.5 billion.

Focus on football

Along with the growing popularity of online betting, there are now many more options in a wide range of sports, and you only have to look at football as a prime example. Decades ago, the weekly football pools were the most popular form of betting on the sport. But now there are not just opportunities to bet on the result, but on everything – from who will score first, to the number of corners there will be in the match. The arrival of in-play betting has also added an extra element of interest to football fans who can adjust their strategy according to what’s happening on the pitch.

Some of the different types of football bet include:

· Total goals

· Correct score

· First goalscorer

· Last goalscorer

· Half time score

The spread of spread betting

In other sports, spread betting has also introduced a whole new element of interest. For example, in cricket it offers fans the chance to predict the margin of victory or loss in match in terms of runs or wickets and relies on in-depth knowledge of both the teams involved and the conditions of play.

Of course, the sport that is probably most associated with betting is horse racing, and for generations punters have been using different strategies to win. For some, money on the favourite always seems to be the wisest route while others prefer to have an each-way bet on a longer odds horse as a way of maximising their chances.

A winning strategy

Poker

Of all of the online casino games, it’s probably poker that offers the widest range of strategies for players to adopt. After all, it is a game with a huge number of variables at any time and handling them is essential if you want to win.

For some players this means taking the “all or nothing” approach in which they make bold moves in terms of the stakes they put down leaving their opponents to try and work out whether or not they’re bluffing. For others, a more conservative style seems to be the best way with the hope that this will pay off in the long run.

With poker you’re also always playing a more complex psychological game against your opponents and this can lead to other, more direct, strategies which aim to unsettle them in some way. A classic is to play in shades and baseball cap to avoid giving any visual clues to your state of mind or, less subtly, through trash talking both at and away from the table.

So it all boils down to the fact that your personal strategy in all games is exactly what it says it is – personal. It’s only through playing and experimenting that you’ll start to discover what works best for you. Then, when you’ve come up with your own winning way, it’s time to stick with that strategy.

Summary

In recent years there has been a great increase in betting of all kinds across many sports. To succeed in these players have started to adopt a number of strategies based on knowledge and skill. In poker there is more scope than in almost any other online casino game to use winning strategies to overcome opponents successfully. When a player has discovered their winning way, it pays to stick with it.