We are well and truly into 'silly season' now and we shouldn't be surprised by any results - with teams at the bottom of their respective divisions rolling over those at the top. Millwall (14/5 DNB) upset Leicester last week and delivered for the Famous Last Words and with half of the Championship still able to be relegated, six teams chasing the League One title and with 10 or so teams still not safe in the fourth tier, the run-in is going to be a funny affair. This week's Numbers Game selections from @MattPBriggs bare this in mind with 21/10, 31/20, 100/30, 2/1 and 9/5 tips, as well as the news and views from the bookies.
Let me know your tips ahead of the weekend in the box below.
Peterborough to win at Huddersfield at 11/5.
Peterborough are going better than any of the other teams at the bottom of the Championship and with seven away wins this term they are worth chancing to win in West Yorkshire. The Posh are on a seven-game unbeaten run and have recently won at Blackburn and Blackpool, while Huddersfield have failed to score in three of their last four games.
Sky Bet say there has been a huge drift on Tottenham, who are now 6/5 from 5/6 to beat Everton after Gareth Bale was injured. They have drifted in every market including top four (evens from 4/6). Bale is rated as such an important influence by bookmarkers and the price moves state that very clearly. Everton are into 21/10 to win at White Hart Lane from 11/4 and into 7/1 from 9/1 to nick a top-four finish.
Southampton have been well supported at 6/5 with Sky Bet to see off hapless Reading who were well beaten at Arsenal last time out. Nigel Adkins has a chance to seek revenge against his former club but it says a lot about the success Mauricio Pochettino has enjoyed that Saints can now be considered backable 6/5 shots away in the Premier League. Bookies now see Southampton on a par with teams such as Newcastle, Swansea and West Brom, a testament to the manager's excellent start.
Paddy Power say they have seen early money for Swansea at 15/8 in their match away to Norwich. Southampton are another popular choice this week and have been backed into 6/5 from an initial price of 6/4 against Reading.
Betfred say we have seen a lot of interest in Everton, who have been backed in from 3/1 into 12/5 at Tottenham.
Both Sunderland (13/2) and Reading (15/8) have been popular, possibly due to the new manager syndrome.
BetVictor say Spurs have been pushed out to 13/10 from 10/11 with the news that Gareth Bale will miss the clash with Everton (23/10 from 3/1) on Sunday. The Blues will be without suspended pair Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar themselves and this might be an over reaction.
Reading are 11/5 and well supported against Southampton (13/10) in the lunchtime kick off. It's a big game for Nigel Adkins who will have his new troops fired up for the visit of the Saints and we can expect a bit of needle.
Man Utd (13/10) won last seven in Premier League and host Man City (5/2) (Mon).
Everton (12/5) won last three in Premier League and travel to Spurs (13/10) (Sun, 2.05pm).
Derby (23/20) won last three in Championship and host Ipswich (14/5).
Wolves (3/1) won last three in Championship and travel to Bolton (evens).
Bournemouth (8/13) won last five in League One and host Notts C (11/2).
Reading (23/10) lost last six in Premier League and host Southampton (13/10) (12.45pm).
Swansea (2/1) lost last three in Premier League and travel to Norwich (17/10).
Leeds (12/5) lost last three in Championship and travel to Charlton (13/10).
Leicester (21/10) lost last three in Championship and travel to Brighton (31/20).
C Palace (10/11) lost last three in Championship and host Barnsley (7/2).
Sky Bet: Norwich are 7/5 to beat Swansea, but with just one win in 14 it seems a good time to oppose them. The Canaries have only found the net once in their last four games and the same could occur here. Swansea have been dropping off since their cup win but they should be too strong at Carrow Road. I see this as more of an each of two game rather than Norwich being slight favourites.
Leeds United are currently managerless as they travel to Charlton. Sky Bet offer 6/5 about a Charlton win, Neil Redfearn struggled last time in charge of the Whites and it is hard to see him turning round their dismal form. Charlton are on the up and look a settled Championship side now, Chris Powell has done an excellent job.
Betfred: Both Sunderland (13/2) and Reading (15/8) have been popular. Chelsea were in action on Thursday night and have sometimes struggled on the back of European games, while I am sure Nigel Adkins will be desperate to prove a point to his former employers Southampton.
It was a disappointing night for Tottenham in the Europa League on Thursday, not only did they concede two crucial away goals in their 2-2 draw with Basle at White Hart Lane but they lost Gareth Bale in what looked to be a painful ankle injury. Spurs are also likely to be without William Gallas, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe for their home clash against Everton so we are happy to take them on evens.
BetVictor: We are very keen to lay Arsenal at 20/21 at the Hawthorns against a Baggies side who are always tough to beat in the Black Country. It will be interesting to see if the money comes for the Gunners but we think they are vulnerable.
United have drifted out to 13/10 against City at Old Trafford on Monday. This looks too big with City likely to have one eye on next weekend's FA Cup semi and United wanting to do the double over their rivals in their title season as City did last term.
Paddy Power: We think that Reading look a very decent price this weekend. They are fighting for survival and have the newly-appointed Nigel Adkins at the helm, and with home advantage we think there's a good chance that Southampton won't walk away with the three points.
Liverpool also look a very short price at home to West Ham, and we will be looking to take them on.
Norwich (17/10) have won all three of their Premier League clashes v Swansea (2/1).
Arsenal (20/21) have won their last three Premier League clashes v West Brom (16/5).
Liverpool (4/11) have won six of their last eight v West Ham (9/1) in Premier League.
Chelsea (4/11) have won 15 of their last 16 Premier League clashes v Sunderland (10/1).
Fulham (14/5) have won five of their last seven matches v Newcastle (10/9) in the Premier League.
Gillingham to beat Torquay at 8/11.
The money has come for Gillingham, who are closing in on the League Two title and they should be too strong for struggling Torquay at Priestfield.
Bradford's James Hanson has two in two and is 11/5 to score v Northampton.
Shrewsbury's Tom Eaves has five in four and is 5/2 to score v Yeovil.
MK Dons' Dean Bowditch has two in two and is 21/10 to score v Crawley.
Barnet to beat Chesterfield at 9/5.
Chesterfield will be without key striker Marc Richards (ankle) against Barnet. Richards scored twice last time out and the Spireites could be vulnerable on the road.
Doncaster to beat Tranmere at evens.
Tranmere will be without forwards Mamady Sidibe and Adam McGurk at table-topping Doncaster. The pair will miss the remainder of the campaign and Rovers face a struggle to get anything at The Keepmoat.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Brighton to beat Leicester at 31/20.
After the midweek draw with Charlton, Brighton boss Gus Poyet said: "Don't take anything away from my players, we deserve to be where we are. The game was not difficult to analyse. If I could ask for any more, it would be in terms of quality in our final ball. Apart from that, it was all there. It really was one-way traffic and it was a great point for Charlton. I had a feeling they would be defensive and solid, and I can't remember the last time I didn't make a change during a game."
Bristol City to win at Burnley at 100/30.
Speaking after Monday's draw with Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City boss manager Sean O'Driscoll said: "We deserved more. Our spirit has not been broken and we will keep on battling. Six more performances like that will do me, whatever the outcome of our season. The players are doing all I and the fans can ask of them. The supporters were fantastic today, even when we were a goal down, and that augurs well for the future."
Bury to win at Hartlepool at 2/1.
Speaking after Monday's 2-0 defeat at Leyton Orient, Bury boss Kevin Blackwell said: "Within one minute 48 seconds of the kick-off, we had two chances that you dream for and it's getting like a cracked record reflecting on the chances we've missed. I'm pleased with the team because they've given it everything and looking at the two sides, you wouldn't have known who was top and who was bottom. I thought that it was a very good away performance but the only thing that was missing was the goals. We must have had eight chances but it's the same story over again, what can I say and if you miss chances like we did, you can't win games, it's as simple as that. We've missed crystal-clear chances in so many games this season, chances that you dream about as a striker."
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