Something for the weekend
We've kicked off a new weekly column, one which seeks out the early value on the weekend domestic football coupon.
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As ever, we want you to grab the value so every Monday, Matt Briggs - the man who brings you The Numbers Game feature most Fridays - will suggest which teams are overpriced in the bookies' early markets and will likely shorten up before the weekend arrives.
Here's his opening gambit with three suggestions, including Swansea who currently look big to add to Tottenham's recent woes.
Premier League - Swansea
Swansea have not delivered at a big price on home soil this season, but that might well change this weekend. The Swans might be forgiven for winding down after their Capital One Cup final glory, however I'm convinced they have got at least one big result left in them before they focus on the beach. The Welsh outfit put several big guns to the sword at home last season, but under Michael Laudrup they haven't been able to sink one of the top teams, with their best efforts being three draws against Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea. They were rolled over 2-0 by Arsenal last time out, but were more than a match for the Gunners before two late goals put paid to their chances. Star striker Michu passed up a wonderful chance with the game at 0-0 and they are more than capable of giving Tottenham a hard time after collecting three home wins from their last four games. It's a pivotal game for Spurs' top-four hopes after they were beaten by Fulham at the Lane, where they were well off the boil. They do boast the best away record in the Premier League bar Manchester United though, and if they play to their potential they will walk away with the points. However, the pressure is building in the race for a top-four spot and with Arsenal, who are four points behind with a game in hand, facing a home clash with relegation fodder Reading - the gap could be narrowed to just a point. You can get 23/10 about a home win which looks decent to me. Alternatively, the Swans are 11/8 with the draw no bet proviso if you want to oppose Andre Villas-Boas' side.
"Injuries and a dramatic loss of form have hindered a downbeat Tony Mowbray and his men, and they look vulnerable at Molineux."
Championship - Wolves
It would have been inconceivable to push the claims of Wolves against Middlesbrough a couple of months back, but this weekend the men in gold look worthy of an interest and the 17/10 on offer might not last long. Boro have lost their last three games and are in a massive slump after flirting with the top six earlier in the season. Injuries and a dramatic loss of form have hindered a downbeat Tony Mowbray and his men, and they look vulnerable at Molineux in what will be a real Championship scrap. Mowbray said: "I don't think anybody takes it harder than a manager at a football club, I would have to say. I have supported this club since I was a boy of six or seven. I know supporters take it very hard, I think we all do, and yet as a manager, you do feel as if the buck stops here, it is your responsibility." Wolves have picked up of late with seven points from a possible 12 and although Boro fans have been worrying about relegation, it is Wolves who will crave the points more to escape the drop and that may prove enough for them to prevail in the Black Country.
League Two - Bristol Rovers
League Two strugglers York look like they're heading back into the Blue Square Premier after just a season in the Football League, despite the arrival of new boss Nigel Worthington. The Minstermen have failed to win a league game since New Year's Day and there has been no honeymoon period for Worthington, who has lost three of his four fixtures in charge. Even the loan arrival of former Stoke striker Richard Cresswell from Sheffield United couldn't inspire them as they lost 2-1 at Torquay on Saturday. Bristol Rovers, meanwhile, are one of the form teams in the division at home - despite their mid-table standing they've won six of their last seven at the Memorial Stadium. High-flying Burton, Port Vale and Exeter have all been brushed aside in the West Country and York, who have only scored nine goals since their last win on January 1, will face another fruitless afternoon. The bookies have the hosts chalked up at a generous 5/6. That price will not be available at kick-off next Saturday, so you will have to be quick to get on John Ward's men.