Thursday, 25 August 2011


The August Bank Holiday weekend is upon us and in this three day weekend there is plenty of football action to feast on with some huge fixtures in all four divisions. Here are Tactical Gamble's top tips for the weekend fixtures and where you can get the best odds:

Man Utd to beat Arsenal - 8/15 (Totesport and Bet Fred)
West Ham to beat Nottingham Forest - 13/8 (Victor Chandler)
Sheff Wed to beat Scunthorpe - 23/20 (William Hill)
Rotherham to beat Gillingham - 5/4 (Sky Bet, Totesport, Bet Fred, Victor Chandler, Paddy Power, Coral)

A £10 accumulator on these four outcomes at Bet Fred would return £188.37!

Manchester United v Arsenal (Kick off, Sunday 4pm)

Young, gifted and red - Welbeck and Young
Matches between these two great teams used to decide where the Premier League trophy would end up and whilst its very early in the season, a victory for either side would be a great boost as they push for silverware this year.
United will have been delighted with their demolition of Spurs on Monday but they were never really tested and there is a belief that Sunday's clash could be the true test of Fergie's new generation of youngsters. So far, they look like they have the skill, desire and ability to win United's 20th title - but will they cope with the pressure on Sunday?
An impressive second half display against Udinese was enough for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League group stage but Wenger's side will be keen to silence their domestic critics with a result at Old Trafford this weekend. Their performances in the league so far have not been encouraging and having sold Samir Nasri this week, Arsenal have a long way to go to prove they can be genuine title contenders. However a victory against the Champions would go some way to silence some of the doubters.
United will be without Vidic and Ferdinand but Arsenal's problems are much worse, with the majority of the first choice midfield unavailable through suspension or injury. Cleverley and Anderson have impressed in midfield for United this season and they will relish taking on an Arsenal side with no Song, no Wilshere, no Gervinho and no Frimpong. Furthermore, Gunners full back Carl Jenkinson could be in for a tough game as he comes face-to-face with the in form Ashley Young on the flanks.
Arsene Wenger's side haven't won at Old Trafford since 2006 and thier tough match in Italy on Wednesday is not ideal preparation for this tough fixture. Add to that the number of first team players who are unavailable and you'd have to fancy the champions to take all 3 points on Sunday.

Nottingham Forest v West Ham (Kick off, Sunday 1.15pm)

Before the big Premier League clash on Sunday, the Championship will be hosting their own grand slam match between two promotion favourites. Forest were early season tips for promotion but have failed to impress so far this season, looking disjointed and almost impotent in front of goal. An improved performance against Leicester last weekend was encouraging but they will face a difficult game against West Ham's dominant midfield trio of Noble, Parker and Nolan. After their embarrassing League Cup defeat to Aldershot earlier this week, Big Sam said his players are scared of playing at home and will probably perform much better on the road. The Hammers will be keen to put their midweek display behind them and they have plenty of big game players in their squad to take all 3 points at the City Ground on Sunday.

Sheffield Wednesday v Scunthorpe (Kick off, Saturday 3pm)

League One this weekend features an all Yorkshire clash at Hillsborough. Alan Knill's side performed admirably against Newcastle on Thursday, pushing the Geordies all the way until Sam Ameobi's wonder strike in extra time, and they will no doubt be exhausted after their midweek heroics as they travel to Sheffield this weekend. The Owls will be looking to capitalise on this home fixture and launch their title challenge which has stuttered so far as a result of their away form. Expect Gary Megson's side to ditch their relegation form and leave Hillsborough victorious on Saturday.

Rotherham v Gillingham (Kick off, Saturday 3pm)

Adam Le Fondre - League Two top scorer ... so far
Staying in South Yorkshire, the Don Valley Stadium will play host to a top of the table clash in League Two on Saturday as Rotherham take on Gillingham. Before the season, TG tipped the Millers for promotion and they have started brightly, in part because of the form of Adam Le Fondre (pictured). Gillingham have also began the season in good form, with 10 points from 12, and they will certainly give Rotherham a good game on Saturday. However TG is sticking with their Promotion pick Rotherham to seal victory in front of their home fans this weekend.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Each week, Tactical Gamble will provide you with tips for the weekend matches in each division of English football. We'll tell you who we're tipping for victory in each league and where you can the best return on an accumulator on these fixtures. Here our this weeks picks:

Sunderland to beat Newcastle - 6/5
Middlesbrough to beat Birmingham - 6/5
Bury to beat Wycombe - 2/1
Swindon to beat Oxford - 6/5

A £10 accumulator on these four outcomes with Coral will return £319.44 if successful!

Sunderland v Newcastle (12pm Saturday kick off)

Cometh the hour, cometh the Gyan
This match always proves to be a feisty affair and Sunderland will be keen to earn the North-East bragging rights this year, after Newcastle took 4 points off the Mackems last season. Newcastle will have been pleased with their point against Arsenal, however Alan Pardew's men seemed to lack creativity and scoring goals could prove a problem this Saturday and for the rest of the season. Likewise, Sunderland will have been delighted to earn a point at Anfield but unlike their rivals, they produced an impressive display with new boys Wes Brown and Seb Larsson shining on their debut. Steve Bruce's new signings will be keen to replicate their opening day display in their first home game of the season and I predict they will take the derby day spoils on Saturday afternoon, as they have a stronger squad and better players in almost every department. Asamoah Gyan scored against Newcastle last year and often shines on the big occasion, so he could be a good bet for first goalscorer at 11/2 with Sky Bet and Unibet.

Middlesbrough v Birmingham (kick off 3pm, Sunday)

Birmingham will dread facing Emnes
Birmingham earned an admirable 0-0 draw against Portuguese side Nacional on Thursday but his side will be tired from their midweek efforts in Europe and could be in trouble as they travel to Middlesbrough on Sunday afternoon. Middlesbrough have taken 7 points from 9 this season and seem to playing with a confidence which was sorely lacking from their side last season. Frontman Marvin Emnes has epitomised this Riverside renaissance with 3 goals in 3 games and TG backs Tony Mowbray's side to continue this impressive early season form with a victory over the Blues this Sunday.

Wycombe v Bury (kick off 3pm, Saturday)

Bury have produced some extraordinary results so far this season in League One , none more so than their deserved midweek victory over Sheffield Wednesday. Richie Barker's side proved on the opening day against Huddersfield that they can compete away from home and he will be hoping his side can carry on their impressive early season form and take all 3 points this Saturday at Adams Park.

Swindon Town v Oxford United (kick off 1.30pm, Sunday)

Derby day delight for Di Canio?
This derby could be the pick off the fixtures in the football league this weekend. The two arch rivals haven't met in the league for over a decade and there is great anticipation down south ahead of this long awaited clash. Paolo Di Canio's side haven't enjoyed the start they'd hoped for this season but his side will be keen to claim a derby victory in front of their home supporters, while Oxford will want to build on their impressive midweek victory against Shrewsbury. Both sides are evenly matched but TG thinks home advantage could be key for The Robins and expect the home side to take all 3 points at the County Ground on Sunday.

Monday, 15 August 2011


The Champions League is back - well, the qualifying rounds anyway - and Arsene Wenger finds himself in the unusual situation of having to qualify for the group stages. Tonight's match against Udinese couldn't have come at a worse time for Arsenal, following Saturday's controversial match at Newcastle and the departure of Cesc Fabregas yesterday but their opponents Udinese have not begun their league season yet and I think this lack of competitive match practice could harm the Italians as they travel to the Emirates. An Arsenal victory is best priced at 4/7 with Victor Chandler.

Mullet Header - Chamakh will be keen to impress
As for first goalscorer, Arsenal will be without Robin Van Persie through suspension so Marouane Chamakh looks likely to start as the lone striker for the North London side. The Moroccan endured a mixed debut season but he managed to score 3 goals in 6 European games last season and his best performances have come in the Champions League, so he is a decent bet to open the scoring. Chamakh is best priced at 6/1 with 888 Sport, Blue Sq, Unibet and Victor Chandler.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


Robin Van Persie

Best price: 10/1 (William Hill)

From January last year nobody scored more goals in the Premier League than Robin Van Persie, who finished on an excellent 18 goals in 25 games. The Dutchman has always had an impressive goal scoring record and is the main striker in a ultra-attacking Arsenal side which love carving open defences and scoring goals, so he won’t be short of goal scoring opportunities. In addition to this, Van Persie is also Arsenal’s free kick and penalty taker which will help boost his goal tally. The only thing which can stop him winning the golden boot will be the same problem which has plagued him throughout his career – injury. However providing he can stay off the physio’s table this season, RVP should be top of the charts at the end of May.

Darren Bent

Best Price: 12/1 (Various including Bet 365, Bet Fred and Paddy Power)

Many people were surprised when Aston Villa paid £24 million in January for Bent but he proved to be worth every penny as his 9 goals in 16 games helped keep the Villains in the Premier League. This season he won't be receiving the same service he enjoyed from Ashley Young and Stewart Downing but the England striker has one of the best strike rates in the Premier League and his position as Villa's penalty taker will fire him up the goal scoring charts. Bent has also previously thrived as the main attacking threat in an under-performing team, as seen with Charlton and Sunderland, so expect the majority of Villa's goals to come from this man.

Luis Suarez

Though Suarez only scored 4 goals for Liverpool after joining in January, his impact at Anfield was huge and their change of fortunes in the second half of the season was largely due to the performances of the Uruguayan. His heroics in the Copa America indicate there is plenty more to come from Suarez and as the talisman of a big club not distracted by Europa League football, his goal tally will dramatically increase this season. He won the Eredivisie Golden Boot in 2010 and if he is as influential this season as he was from January, don't bet against the former Ajax striker repeating this feat in England this season.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


The Premier League season kicks off this Saturday and it promises to be one of the most exciting campaigns yet. Of course, everybody likes a flutter on who will be champions and here at Tactical Gamble we're providing you with our predictions and where you can get the best prices in the betting market. Good luck and enjoy!

Man Utd - 1st

Best title odds: 7/4 (William Hill, Paddy Power, Bwin)

The 19 times champions showed on Sunday they are keen to put their Champions League disappointment behind them and reaffirm their supremacy in England. Ashley Young seems to have settled in well at Old Trafford and the emergence of Welbeck and Cleverley will add youthful enthusiasm to United’s experienced title winning squad. Replacing Van Der Sar remains an issue and De Gea’s Community Shield performance did little to allay those fears, but so far they seem ahead of the rest. If Wesley Sneijder arrives, Sir Alex Ferguson could well be on his way to lifting United’s 20th title.

Man City - 2nd

Best title odds: 9/2 (Coral)

City probably has the strongest squad in the Premier League and following their FA Cup victory in May, Roberto Mancini’s side have a new belief that they can finally launch a credible title challenge this season. The signing of Sergio Aguero gives Man City a new attacking dimension and if they can rid themselves of their inconsistency (or City-itis as Joe Royle dubbed it), then they could prove to be more than just United’s noisy neighbours.

Chelsea - 3rd

Best title odds: 3/1 (Bet Fred, Totesport, Victor Chandler, Coral)

New season, new manager, same Chelsea. Villas-Boas faces a big challenge in getting the most out of Fernando Torres, with the Spanish striker struggling with fitness, form or both, but the Blues have an experienced squad eager to put last season’s disappointments behind them and will once again be a formidable title challenger. Chelsea’s defence is one of the strongest in the league and providing their key midfielders Lampard and Essien can stay free from injury, there’s a good chance Abramovich may not be wielding his axe come May.

Liverpool - 4th

Best title odds: 14/1 (Totesport, Bet Fred, Coral

During this summer’s Copa America, Luis Suarez proved he can singlehandedly lead his team to glory and if he continues his form from last season then he could inspire Liverpool back into Champions League contention. They also have a quality wide player in Stewart Downing who will provide plenty of assists for Andy Carroll this season and the signings of Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson mean Liverpool’s squad has plenty of depth and quality. There are still plenty of doubts surrounding the defence (Agger’s fitness, Johnson’s positioning, Carragher’s age) but with the fans united and no European football to distract them, Kenny Dalglish’s side could have a very successful season.

Arsenal - 5th

Best title odds: 11/1 (Totesport, Bet Fred, Victor Chandler, Coral

The fortune of Arsene Wenger’s side has followed an all too familiar path in recent seasons – a bright start, followed by great expectations before a disappointing final few months. The imminent departure of Cesc Fabregas would indicate things could only get worse for Arsenal, but perhaps his exit will rid the club of the uncertainty surrounding the club and allow committed talents like Wilshere and Ramsey to flourish. Arsenal’s title chances shouldn’t be written off, especially if they can bring in a commanding centre back and keep Van Persie fit, but this season looks to be one of the toughest yet for Wenger’s side.

Thursday, 4 August 2011



The race for promotion this season promises to be one of the most hotly contested contests in the domestic football season. With clubs the stature of Sheffield United and Preston entering the division to compete with the likes of Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday and last year's unfortunate play off finalists Huddersfield, it promises to be an extremely close race and all 5 of those clubs will be under great pressure to achieve promotion this year.

Tactical Gamble's no.1 pick for automatic promotion in League One is Preston North End. Preston had a dreadful season last year in the Championship but there were signs of progression after Phil Brown took over in January and he has brought a distinguished coaching staff to Deepdale, including former Man City manager Brian Horton. The Lancashire club have also invested in experienced players such as Graham Alexander and Clarke Carlisle who experienced promotion with Burnley in 2009 and will bring great quality and leadership to the Preston backline. To add to that Preston are boosted by the return of Neil Mellor, who scored 13 goals in League One last year during his loan spell at Sheff Wed, and the potential strike partnership with Iain Hume will guarantee plenty of goals in their quest to return to the championship. Most bookies have Preston at 2/1 for promotion, which represents good value in the tight League One promotion odds, with William Hill offering the best price of 8/1 that they will finish top of the table.

Top Goalscorer

Naturally with so many big clubs competing for promotion, there are a number of valid contenders for the League One Golden Boot. Bradley Wright-Phillips has been installed as the favourite with most bookies and the aforementioned Neil Mellor will be near the top of the chart providing he can steer clear of injury. However Tactical Gamble is backing Huddersfield Town's Jordan Rhodes to be top scorer in League One, who can be found at a best price of 10/1 on Bet 365. Rhodes has looked impressive in pre-season, scoring 4 goals, and as the main attacking threat in a Huddersfield side who love nothing more than creating chances, he looks almost certain to build on the 16 goals he scored last campaign. His side are hoping to put last season's play off anguish behind them and Rhodes goal scoring prowess will give them every hope of going one better this year.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011



The race for promotion in League Two will no doubt be an intriguing one, with several teams rightfully feeling they have a chance of gaining automatic promotion or even winning the division.

Crawley Town have been made favourites by most bookies and their spending power means they will certainly be contenders. However there is very little value in betting on Crawley, with Blue Square offering the best price of 8/11 for automatic promotion.

My tip for promotion in League Two is Rotherham United. The Millers narrowly missed out on a playoff position last season after a poor second half of the season, but experienced summer signings such as Danny Schofield and Lewis Grabban should help prevent a post-Christmas slide this campaign and striker Adam Le Fondre will provide plenty of goals, as he always has done at this level . Bwin offer the best promotion odds at 9/2 but I think they are worth a punt for outright winner, especially seen as manager Andy Scott won the division with Brentford in 2009. You can get 20/1 for Rotherham to be the outright winner of League Two at both William Hill and Bwin.

Top Goalscorer

Much like the race for promotion, there are numerous players who will feel they have a chance at winning the golden boot. Bet 365 are offering Adam Le Fondre at 12/1 and Southend's summer signing Neil Harris at 14/1 but my tip for the League Two Golden Boot is Shaun Miller (pictured, centre) at 18/1 with Blue Square and 888 sport. The Crewe Alexandra striker scored 18 goals last year and now that strike partner Ryan Donaldson has left the club, Miller will be the main man for Dario Gradi's side and I predict he'll score even more this season. 


Welcome to Tactical Gamble, a new blog giving you top betting tips for all the football action across England and the rest of Europe.

Each week I'll provide you with the best bets for domestic and European football matches and tell you where you can get the best odds for these bets.

Thank you for visiting and I hope my tips can earn you some money!