The Numbers Game

  • Last Updated: December 14 2012, 16:02 GMT

After three weeks of hard slog, otherwise known as paternity leave, Matt Briggs is back with The Numbers Game.

Millwall: Too big at home to Leicester
Millwall: Too big at home to Leicester

Millwall are the value pick of the weekend and there are all the usual stats and pointers and the bookies have some interesting views - including two very different viewpoints on Manchester City's clash at Newcastle. The men in the know also reveal the teams to have been backed and Betfred reveal they have just laid a £40,000 bet on Manchester United to win the Premier League.


Millwall to beat Leicester at 9/4.

Millwall look terrific value to see off promotion-chasing Leicester. The Lions have won half their 10 home games and lost just one of the last eight - last weekend's drubbing at Ipswich - where they passed up several early chances. Leicester have been far from convincing on the road winning just three of their 10 away games and they are worth taking on in the capital.


Sky Bet say the well supported teams this weekend are Liverpool, Cardiff, Leicester and Bournemouth.

Betfred have just laid a bet of £40,000 for Manchester United to win the league. They have a six-point gap at the moment but there is a long way to go this season. There's been a lot of interest in the two Manchester clubs this weekend and also the draw in the Stoke v Everton game is popular.

bet365 say QPR will attract money for their first win against Fulham and so will Norwich when they host Wigan. Hull look like they are here to stay in the promotion race and they're attracting plenty of support in the Championship against Hudersfield.

Paddy Power believe it's no surprise to see punters siding with David Moyes' Everton team. Following a very, very late come-from-behind victory against Tottenham last week they sit fourth in the standings which means the Toffees must be doing something right and punters are keen to get involved with them. Having opened them at 6/4, Power have seen plenty of interest and cut them into their current offering of 11/8.


Manchester United (2/9) won last four Premier League games and host Sunderland (16/1).

Ipswich (13/5) won last three in Championship and travel to Leeds (6/5).

Leyton Orient (16/13) won last five in League One and host Scunthorpe (13/5).

Chesterfield (evens) won last four in League Two and host Burton (3/1).


Reading (9/2) lost last five Premier League games and host Arsenal (7/10) (Mon).

West Brom (20/19) lost last three and host West Ham (3/1) (Sun).

Sheffield Wednesday (2/1) lost last seven in Championship and travel to Barnsley (13/8).

Peterborough (8/1) lost last three in Championship and travel to Cardiff (2/5).

Rochdale (19/10) lost last three in League Two and travel to Aldershot (8/5).


Sky Bet: Manchester United and Liverpool are going to be at the heart of everyone's accumulators this weekend. Liverpool are proving very popular once again and they also have the retuning Luis Suarez to help boost their push up the table.

Cardiff are going great guns at the moment at the top of the Championship and they will be hoping to cement that position with an easy looking home fixture against Peterborough.

Sheffield United entertain Tranmere where a victory can see them go to the top of League One. This looks likely as Tranmere are missing a few regular players.

bet365: The Saturday Premier League coupon has three odds-on pokes and we're hopeful of getting at least one chinned. Luis Suarez is back and Liverpool are winning a few games, but they are still yet to convince me and Paul Lambert's young Lions seem to be gaining in confidence, whilst I couldn't back either side in the early kick off between Newcastle and Man City - draw please. Man Utd will probably win, but they're conceding goals and with Steven Fletcher back for Sunderland, you never know! Last week I saw a thoroughly professional performance from Chesterfield at Port Vale. Marc Richards is back, Jay O'Shea is buzzing around in behind him, I also saw Luis Boa Morte track back and defensively they look solid - Burton beware!

Betfred: Our traders are happy to take on both Manchester City and Liverpool this weekend. Man City could still be licking their wounds from last week's defeat to their rivals. Pressure may be getting to Roberto Mancini after a poor European campaign. If Aston Villa can keep their defence together, they could sneak a draw at Liverpool..

Paddy Power: This week, I will have a interest in the Newcastle match - by that I mean I will opposing them at home to the champions Man City. Newcastle have only won one game since the end of October, and Man City will be desperate to pick up three points in the fight for the title knowing that Man Utd have a relatively straightforward game at home against Sunderland. The best price on offer is 4/6 about City and I feel that is a generous enough price to take advantage of. They should have too much power to see them past a struggling Newcastle side.


Tottenham (4/6) have won 12 and lost none of their 14 league games at home v Swansea (5/1) (Sun, 1.30pm).

Arsenal (7/10) have beaten Reading (9/2) in all 10 previous meetings in all competitions.

Sunderland (16/1) have failed to score in nine of last 11 Premier League games v Manchester United (2/9).

Manchester City (8/11) won four of last five at Newcastle (24/5).

Birmingham (28/15) have won eight of last nine at home to Crystal Palace (13/8).


Stoke v Everton - under 2.5 goals at 4/6

Stoke have seen just two of their last 13 matches go over 2.5 goals and they will make life difficult for Everton at the Britannia Stadium.


Coventry's David McGoldrick has four goals in his last four league games and is 6/4 to score at Doncaster.

Bournemouth's Lewis Grabban has five goals in his last three games and is 6/5 to score against Colchester.

Chesterfield's Jay O'Shea has scored in his last two games and is 11/4 to net v Burton.


Portsmouth to beat Preston at 9/5

Preston are missing both full-backs, Scott Laird and Keith Keane, again and Nicky Wroe and Lee Holmes are both doubtful.

Bristol City to beat Derby at 19/10

Defender Greg Cunningham (ankle) may make a surprise return to Bristol City's squad. Striker Steven Davies has also been declared fit to face his former club and Jody Morris and Martyn Woolford are also available.

Wolves to beat Middlesbrough (draw no bet) at 2/1.

Grant Leadbitter, Faris Haroun and Andre Bikey all have hamstring niggles and will be subject to checks on Saturday. Andy Halliday (Achilles) and Seb Hines (knee) are also doubts, while Jonathan Woodgate is also a worry.


Bristol Rovers to beat York (draw no bet) at 2/1

Speaking after last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Dagenham, Bristol Rovers boss Mark McGhee said: "We had enough chances to win comfortably but we didn't take them and Dagenham scored with virtually their only shot.

"I am bitterly disappointed by the result, but I am not going to get angry because I felt the lads put the required effort in and just didn't get the breaks."

Torquay to beat Northampton at 5/4

Speaking after last weekend's 1-0 reverse at high-flying Bradford, Torquay boss Martin Ling said: "It was backs against the wall, we stuck at it but it took a wonder goal to beat us. It was a poor cross but a wonderful finish and that cost us the game. It would've been a valuable point but it was not to be.

"After the sending off we went 4-3-2 but by the time we had ran around trying to regain the ball we couldn't retain it. When it's 11 v 10 it was always going to take it out of you."