From the Trading Floor - Week 51

From the Trading Floor

Join Jay and DAZN Bet’s trading team as they bring you the pick of this week’s sports bets in “From The Trading Floor”.

 

Chelsea v Newcastle United – Carabao Cup Quarter Final – 20:00 – December 19

The English League Cup enters the quarter final stages during midweek and by the end of Wednesday night we will know the four remaining teams who will be just one round away from a trip to Wembley.

Tuesday offers three of the four fixtures, and we will be guaranteed at least one non-Premiership semi-finalist when Port Vale meet Middlesbrough at Vale Park. The main focus of the night though is bound to be at Stamford Bridge where the 2015 winners Chelsea will host last year’s beaten finalists Newcastle United.

Both teams enter the fixture having won in the Premier League over this past weekend. Chelsea picked up three points with a 2-0 victory over bottom club Sheffield United, whilst Newcastle bounced back from their midweek Champions League heartache against AC Milan with a relatively comfortable 3-0 victory over Fulham.

For 10th placed Chelsea the League Cup presents an opportunity to secure European football for next season, after missing out on qualification for any form of continental competition during the 2022/23 campaign. Midfielder Cole Palmer is one of the players to watch for the hosts after his man of the match performance at the weekend, scoring the opener and providing an assist for Nicholas Jackson during Chelsea’s victory over the Blades.

Newcastle could have easily fallen apart after their European exit, but their comfortable success against Fulham shows that Eddie Howe’s men are more than hungry for more trips across the continent next year. However, the Magpies have a mounting list of injury concerns, with a number of first team players unlikely to feature, including defender Kieran Trippier, goalkeeper Nick Pope, Brazilian midfielder Joelinton and Swedish striker Alexander Isak.

Ending a three match losing streak would have instilled some much needed morale back in to the Newcastle camp, but I can’t look beyond their waning squad numbers. Recent performances have suggested that the increased fixture demand has started to take it’s toll on Eddie Howe’s team and this is going to be yet another short turn around for the North Eastern club.

Chelsea haven’t exactly dazzled up to this point, themselves winning just two of their previous six fixtures, but Saturday’s victory was not only a sign that Chelsea’s current squad can perform well, it may have also been an indicator that their £50m summer signing Christopher Nkunku might be about to make his first appearance for the club after his inclusion on the bench following a lengthy knee injury.

Chelsea for me should be the fresher of the two squads, and potentially having a proven goalscorer available to bolster their line-up is certainly a positive piece of news for Blues fans. Pair this with the fact that the hosts have won ten of the last eleven meetings between the two at Stamford Bridge, and a home victory seems to be the most likely outcome in my mind.

Traders’ Tip: Chelsea To Win @ 5/6. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.33.

BET HERE

 

Liverpool v West Ham – Carabao Cup Quarter Final -20:00 – December 20

With the other three fixtures taking place the night before, Wednesday’s Merseyside meeting between Liverpool and West Ham will be the one that completes the semi-final line up, and it’s a fixture that could prove to be an entertaining one

Liverpool come in to this one having failed to find the target during their goalless draw against Manchester United on Sunday, despite registering 34 shots and having nearly 70% of the possession. Their inability to score has been a bit of a talking point since then, especially as it cost them the opportunity to retake top spot in the Premier League from Arsenal, and manager Jurgen Klopp will no doubt be expecting more from his recently misfiring Reds as a result.

West Ham didn’t have any problem with getting on the scoresheet themselves after picking up a more than comfortable 3-0 victory over Wolves. That result, paired with a 2-0 victory over German club Freiburg in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, was the perfect way for the Hammers to bounce back from their 5-0 thumping at Fulham a week earlier. Despite their European exploits over the past two years, a victory at Anfield would secure West Ham their first domestic semi-final appearance for 10 years.

Despite these two clubs meeting regularly in the top flight since the start of the Premier League era, this will actually be the first fixture between the two in this competition since November 1988, when West Ham ran out 4-1 winners against a Liverpool team containing Peter Beardsley and the legendary John Aldridge. In fact you have to go back five years prior, to January 1983, to find the last time that Liverpool actually beat West Ham over 90 minutes in a cup fixture.

Despite this, Liverpool have consistently got the better of the Hammers in their top flight encounters, winning twelve of the last fourteen meetings between the two, including each of the last four. They’ve often bounced back from disappointing performances, and Sunday’s shut out against the Red Devils was the first time they’d actually failed to win a game at Anfield this season.

I am expecting to see the hosts bounce back from Sunday’s disappointment in fairly comprehensive style. They went in to that fixture having averaged scoring more than three goals per game at home, and I can see them bouncing back to this form when these two meet on Wednesday.

Traders’ Tip: Liverpool To Score Over 2.5 Goals @ 23/20. A £10 bet at these odds could return £21.50.

BET HERE

 

Aston Villa v Sheffield United – Premier League – 20:00 – December 22

Friday’s meeting between could be a season defining moment in the Midlands as it presents Aston Villa with an opportunity to take top spot in the Premier League at the expense of bottom club Sheffield United.

After suffering a 5-1 thumping away to Newcastle on the opening weekend of the season few would have expected to see the Villains challenging for major honours, but there’s a real possibility that we could see Villa sitting top of the tree on Christmas Day.

Few can really argue against Aston Villa being in such a position though, they’ve won all eight of their home fixtures in the league, their most recent being 1-0 victories over both current Premier League leaders Arsenal, and reigning European Champions Manchester City. In fact, they’ve now won fifteen straight Premier League home games, showing just how much of a fortress Villa Park has become.

Sheffield United, in contrast, have struggled to cope with life in the top flight since their promotion from the Championship last season. The Blades have conceded 43 times, more than any other club, and a 1-1 draw away to Brighton remains the only point they’ve picked up on their travels.

Fixtures like this can often be banana skins, but Aston Villa have simply been sublime in front of their home supporters. It’s hard to argue with them being instilled as very strong favourites, especially as they’ve scored 25 times in those eight home matches, and conceded just five in the process.

Seeing a relatively unexpected club challenging the status quo is always refreshing, especially when they’re playing with the confidence that Villa currently have, the manner in which they found a way to turn a 0-1 deficit away to Brentford in to a 2-1 victory over this past weekend is a credit to how much of a solid job Unai Emery is doing at the helm, and I can only see them continuing with that belief this weekend.

Villa’s run will have to come to an end at some point, they can’t go on winning forever, but I have no reason to believe that it will come as soon as Friday. Form should see the hosts win, and win comfortably. I’m taking at least a three goal margin of victory as a result.

Traders’ Tip: Aston Villa -2.5 @ 6/4. A £10 bet at these odds could return £25.

BET HERE

 

Anthony Joshua v Otto Wallin – Approx. 22:30 – December 23

The boxing action has been coming from all angles over the past month, but the best is surely to come over the course of this weekend with a Riyadh card that’s absolutely stacked with top level talent for Day of Reckoning.

Boxing fans at Saudi’s Kingdom Arena, as well as the millions that will be watching around the world, really are spoilt for choice. Recent World Heavyweight challenger Daniel Dubois takes on undefeated American Lyndon Arthur, WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol defends his title against IBO champion Lyndon Arthur, and former WBC Heavyweight champion Deonte Wilder takes on former WBO champion Joseph Parker.

All this takes place before the main event showdown between two-time former unified heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua and his 26-1 Swedish Heavyweight opponent Otto Wallin in what should be an explosive evening of top class action, live on DAZN.

As far as the main even goes, a meeting with someone looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow compatriot Ingemar Johansson is just what AJ needs to put himself right back in contention for a future Heavyweight title opportunity, after twice coming up short against Oleksandr Usyk over the last couple of years.

Victory over Wallin would surely place him at the front of the line when it comes to a challenger for the victor of February’s scheduled undisputed championship bout between Usyk and WBC champion Tyson Fury.

For Wallin, the same stakes are potentially up for grabs. Victory over AJ might not necessarily put him ahead of the winner of the Wilder v Parker in terms of contention, but it will certainly help bolster his chances of becoming Sweden’s first world Heavyweight champion since Johansson’s 360 day reign between 1959 and 1960.

Joshua is heading in to this one as a fairly heavy favourite. Many might see this is him simply cementing his place at the top of the contenders list, but the truth is that Wallin certainly isn’t going to be there just to make up the numbers.

Not only does Joshua have to adapt to the prospect of facing a legitimate left hander, but he’ll also be fighting with the knowledge that Wallin can often find a way to legitimately hurt his opponents.

The Swede’s only loss came in Las Vegas against Tyson Fury back in 2019, and I remember just how hard he made life for the undefeated Brit on that night. Wallin not only managed to stay the distance with one of the best, but he also threatened to cause a huge upset when he bust his opponent open fairly early in the contest. That’s the threat Otto poses to AJ here.

I’d personally be surprised if this one didn’t go the distance on Saturday. Both have shown that they are incredibly busy fighters, and I’m not expecting either to leave themselves overly exposed as a result.

The manner in which Wallin took the fight to Fury three years ago is certainly commendable, but even on that occasion he didn’t manage to outbox one of the World’s finest boxers and Saturday’s encounter with AJ could very well follow a similar pattern.

I can certainly see Wallin providing a couple of shocks to Joshua with a few well timed left hooks, but over the course of twelve rounds I am still expecting to see AJ come through with a unanimous victory via the judge’s scorecards.

Traders’ Tip: Anthony Joshua to win by Decision @ 5/4. A £10 bet at these odds could return £22.50.

BET HERE

 

Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins – NFL – 21:25 – December 24

From one Heavyweight contest to another, as two of America’s finest gear up for a slobberknocker in Florida as part of Sunday night’s NFL action, with the Miami Dolphins hosting the Dallas Cowboys at the Dolphin’s Hard Rock Stadium, with both teams currently boasting solid 10-4 records.

Victory for the Dolphins would leave them close to securing their own AFC East division, ahead of the Buffalo Bills, and outcome that will give them home field advantage in the Wild Card round during the post season playoffs. Whilst the Cowboys are currently neck-and-neck with the Eagles in the battle for top spot in the NFC East having already clinched a play-off spot themselves.

The additional incentive for both teams is that they are also just one game behind their respective Conference leaders in the hunt for the #1 seed spot, a position that provides a bye straight to the Divisional playoff stage and home field advantage in both this and, should they win at this stage, the Conference Championship game too.

For the past couple of months, the Cowboys have looked every bit that of a potential Super Bowl winning team, scoring relatively heavily, and even seeing off the Philadelphia Eagles with a 33-13 success just a fortnight ago. However, last week they were humbled in New York against the Bills. With a late CeeDee Lamb touchdown acting as no more than a consolation in a comprehensive 33-10 loss.

A return to form is certainly needed for the Cowboys here, as not winning their division opens them up to the prospect of facing the 49ers in San Francisco in the Divisional round if results don’t go their way. We’ve seen how strong they can be on their day, but that defeat in Buffalo has left a lot of questions to be answered regarding their rush defense.

The Dolphins come in to this fixture after shutting out the Jets with a 30-0 victory, doing most of the work during a 24 point first half. They’ve lost just once at home so far this season, scoring at least twenty points on each occasion, and they also posted a franchise record 70-20 victory against the Broncos during week three.

The Dolphins might warrant favouritism purely based on that, but it’s important to note that despite their 10-4 record, Miami are a team that has struggled against the “better” NFL sides up to this point. None of their victories have come against teams who currently possess a positive win-loss record, with three of their four losses coming against teams who are currently in the hunt for a post season spot, a position which the Cowboys also hold.

There’s two main factors that could decide this fixture. Firstly, can the Cowboys bounce back from that loss to Buffalo and keep the pressure on the Eagles? And secondly, can the Dolphins lay down a marker by finally toppling a fellow Super Bowl contender?

For me, I have seen how the Cowboys can play very well against the strongest teams this season. Two weeks ago I watched them dominate the Eagles and I know that they can play like a Super Bowl winning team on their day. Last week should be a reminder that there’s no time to rest on your laurels during an NFL season, and I’ll be hoping to see them bounce back to winning ways on the road this weekend.

Traders’ Tip: Dallas Cowboys To Win @ Evens. A £10 bet at these odds could return £20.

BET HERE

 

A £10 5-Fold on the above selections could return £443.44.

 

*Odds correct at time of publishing. Available to UK residents (excluding Northern Ireland) aged 18+ only. T&Cs apply. www.begambleaware.org

 

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