Only a quick update this week, but we’ve got a lot of sporting action to get through so without further ado –
Manchester derby – forget it. If City were at home, Utd’s patchy away form would make City an obvious choice, but Old Trafford has proved a citadel for Mourinho’s men, making this a tough one to call. Forget about parking the bus, I hear Jose is planning on handing a debut to young Eddie Stobart in an effort to nullify Pep’s swashbuckling brand of football. Evens for the game to finish with less than 2.5 goals looks sensible
Merseyside derby – forget it. No idea which way this could go. Historically though, Everton haven’t won this fixture since Hodgson was in charge of Liverpool.
Boxing-wise, and there’s plenty of value to be found in the squared circle this weekend, as the current two best boxers in the world face off in the wee small hours of Sunday morning. That’s right, I’ve declared them the world’s best. In fact, although I can make a case for better fighters historically with bigger achievements and glittering records, I’m not sure the sport has ever witnessed a clash between two boxers as technically proficient and skillful as Lomachenko and Rigondeaux before. A bold claim I know, but I’m giddy with excitement for this one. One for the purists perhaps, but worth a look if you’re staggering in at 4am.
Lomachenko starts as a deserved favourite: his opponent, Rigondeaux is moving up two weight divisions (mainly because nobody around his own division will go near him, yes I’m looking at you Messrs Frampton, Santa Cruz and Quigg). Rigo is also a relatively ancient 37 years old for a boxer plying his trade in the lower weights, and has been dropped before. Be under no illusion though, the Cuban will be alert to Lomachenko’s obvious dangers and will seek to turn this into a chess match. Despite his diminutive frame of 5′ 4″, he’s only two inches shorter than his foe, and actually has the longer reach (a notable advantage in a fight between two pure boxers).
Vasyl Lomachenko is an equally incredible talent though, and despite a rehydration clause written into the contract, will still be the naturally bigger guy in there. Thus, it’s hard to look past Lomachenko in what should prove to be a fascinating contest between two sportsmen at the absolute peak of their game. If you’re feeling a bit feisty though, the 9/2 offered for Rigondeaux is still decent value, as is perhaps the draw at 22/1.
Closer to home, and rising star Anthony Yarde faces Nikola Sjekloca for the WBO European title at the Copper Box Arena. Yarde is blowing everyone away with aplomb so far, and Sjekloca isn’t expected to halt Yarde’s ascendency on Saturday night. Betting on the London-born light-heavyweight to win won’t line your pockets too thickly then, but there is some value to be dug up here.
Having never been stopped, Sjekloca is far tougher than anyone named Nikola has any right to be. He’s previously frustrated and gone the distance with names such as Robert Stieglitz, Arthur Abraham, Callum Smith and Sakio Bika, demonstrating an iron chin on par with Tony Stark’s. The pick here then is for Yarde to win by decision at a lengthy 4/1, though if you’re feeling super-cautious, 7/2 just for the fight to go the distance isn’t far off anyway. A word of caution though, Anthony Yarde is a big light-heavy, and the ageing Nikola has mostly campaigned a weight division below at super-middle.
Before we get into the rest of this weekend’s action, let us just pause for a second to take in the Lucky Ladder chart. The pot sits at a bountiful £116.02. At the present rate of growth, another 9 bets would see us on £4,500. Give me an “ooooh!”.
This weekend’s Nik-Naks amongst the Crusty Crocs:
Short odds for bulking up your acca:
Gent 1/4, Alkmaar 4/11, Aldershot 40/85, Spurs 1/4, Monaco 2/7, Ayr 1/3
Lucky Ladder bet of the weekend:
I haven’t decided. Nothing really jumping out at me, so take your pick between Luton 3/4 in their top of the table clash with Notts County or Villa 3/4 at home to Millwall. I’ll probably go for Villa (which inevitably will mean a Luton win instead).
Longer odds for the brave ladderer:
Yarde to win by decision 4/1, has to be the pick there.
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