Be a card sharp at Old Trafford

Former pro footballer and current Sky Bet PR guru Dale Tempest takes a closer look at two games on Sunday.

Last Updated: 10/03/13 at 13:33 Post Comment

Rooney: Can react when things are on his mind

Rooney: Can react when things are on his mind

Dale Tempest is a man who knows both sides of the betting fence.

As a former professional footballer - Fulham, Huddersfield and Colchester were among his clubs during a 16-year career - he knows exactly how the game is played.

These days in his role as Sky Bet's public relations director - you may have seen him on Sky Sports News - he's very much got his finger on the pulse of the markets as both a punter and a bookmaker.

In his new column for us, he highlights his best bets for the weekend's action, concentrating on some of the lesser-known markets and exploring the mindset of the bookies.

Here is his take on two big games this Sunday.

Wayne Rooney to pick up the first yellow card against Chelsea at 16/1

The angle that I want to go with this week is getting inside the heads of players.

One of the biggest talking points of the week has not just been Nani's red card but also Wayne Rooney being left out of the Manchester United side.

If Rooney starts on Sunday against Chelsea, which looks very possible, the markets will not have adjusted to all the talk and speculation over his future.

At the best of times, Rooney is a bit of a hot-head and if things are on his mind then he tends to let that affect him on the pitch. We have seen at World Cups when there rumours about his private life which nobody knew about and he did not kick a ball in South Africa - it was only when he got back that we found out why.

He is a player that is massively affected by newspaper headlines and rumours about him and whilst Sir Alex may got a positive reaction, the one reaction you usually get from Rooney is a physical one and if you look at the markets, he is 16/1 to pick up the first yellow card in the Chelsea game - that looks a massive price to me.

He will have so much attention on him and whether it is arguing with referees or a mis-timed tackle, if your mind is not 100 per cent on the game you will mis-time things, although not necessarily intentionally. I also think that the 3/1 for him to pick up a yellow card at anytime in the game is also a massive price.

Newcastle to beat Stoke at 5/6

The other angle I have is an unwritten betting rule that I have if get team wrong one week I never go back to them following week either for or against.

But I am going to break that rule this week by backing Newcastle to beat Stoke.

Stoke are going through a woeful patch and have only got eight away goals all season. They produced one of the worst performances of the week last time against West Ham at home and if you delve into the stats, they have had the fewest attempts on goal of any team in the Premier League.

They have had just 19 shots on target from outside the box all season - Gareth Bale has over a dozen himself!

They are a side under real pressure and if Newcastle had not travelled to Moscow and back in midweek they would probably be around 8/13 but this is because of the negativity of a Europa League campaign.

The last two home games after they came back from Europe they beat Chelsea and Southampton after coming from behind and they look a much-improved side with the new French players. I am prepared to hope that the jetlag does not affect them and they deal with Stoke.


Get £160 from your free £10 bet with Sky Bet if Wayne Rooney is booked first


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o Brendan is full of sh!t, who'd have thought it eh?

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resumably, you wanted to keep the version of Downing that was never seen at Anfield. The one that another manager has managed to re-create. The one you passed over.

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he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

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