It's all about the price
Footballer turned bookie rep Dale Tempest looks at the weekend's Premier League coupon - and is determined to get the right price.
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Former professional footballer Dale Tempest is now a bookie public relations man - he's very much got his finger on the pulse of the markets as both a punter and an oddsmaker.
Fulham, Huddersfield and Colchester were among his clubs during a 16-year career so he knows exactly how the game is played.
These days in his role at Sky Bet - you may have seen him on Sky Sports News - he's looking at things from a different perspective.
His regular Friday column explores the mindset of the bookies and highlights the best bets for the weekend's Premier League action.
Here are his best bets for the forthcoming matches.
All betting is about the price you are offered. There's a price - and above - that you will bet at, and below, which you won't. A lot of people often blindly put teams into an accumulator without considering the price but that's not generally a good idea. Certainly if you are betting game by game you have to be price aware. I often have an idea about what price that is before looking at a market and one that stands out this weekend comes in the Manchester City v Arsenal game - I'm very interested in the 5/2 about City winning to nil. All their big guns generally turn up for the big games. They crushed Manchester United and Spurs earlier in the season - they turn up when required. They are 5/2 to win to nil but I was expecting around 6/4. I'm certainly surprised to see that on offer. The reason is that Arsenal have scored more away goals than any other side in the Premier League but their other match in Manchester this season, which co-incidentally also followed a tough away trip in the Champions League, saw them shutout by United and they rarely tested David de Gea. City have scored 29 and conceded just two at home all season which suggests that Arsenal, even with their great attacking options, may just struggle to find the net. I'm certainly prepared to take a chance that they won't at 5/2.
In the same 'win to nil' market, another bet that I'm keen on is Chelsea to triumph via the same method. Some people will say I've flipped as Chelsea have conceded 17 goals already so far - that's the same number they let in during Jose Mourinho's entire first season at Stamford Bridge. But this is a very limited Palace side. You saw in midweek in the interviews with the likes of John Terry after Chelsea's 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest that they are determined to get back to defending solidly. Professionals pride themselves on not conceding - defenders know it's how they are measured game by game. Palace have only scored three away goals so far and with the price around the 4/5 mark I'm happy to take Chelsea to win to nil.
If you look at Fulham's record this season, it's woeful. They've lost five of their last six away games and at Everton they've lost 21 and drawn four, never having won at Goodison in the league! Everybody is expecting a whitewash. But whenever a new manager comes in, players suddenly get refocused. Fulham performed much better against Spurs and Aston Villa and I really don't expect this side to roll over in the way we've seen so far this season. I think Everton will have too much class and win the game, but 11/4 about them winning one a single goal is much more attractive than the 1/3 for a home win of any kind. After two away games at Manchester United and Arsenal where they've done really well to claim four points, Everton may just lack a bit of focus. Fulham will be focused though. Rene Meulensteen will be determined to make them hard to beat - that's the job of any coach coming in at a team in trouble.
The big Super Sunday game is Tottenham v Liverpool. I can see Spurs bullying the midfield here as Steven Gerrard is a big loss for the visitors. I'm more than happy to side with the hosts. I'm also interested in a draw trixie - something I've mentioned in this column before. West Ham v Sunderland, Hull v Stoke and Newcastle v Southampton are my games for this. The first two involve teams at the bottom and none of them will want to lose. Doing so would be like a six-point penalty - a missed chance of three points for them and three for their rivals. In the other one, Southampton have been keeping the ball well but are struggling for goals so I'm happy to add that in too.