Last Week: 2/3 winning bets = +£112.10
Overall Success Rate: 2 out of 6 bets won
OVERALL TOTAL: +£72.10
Get in! That’s much more like it; after a rocky start I’m already £82.10 in profit overall after two of last week’s bets came in. If I was being really cheeky, I could claim a bonus point for calling the next goalscorer on twitter in Ural v Anzhi (Bernard Berisha for the record – never heard of him? You mean you DON’T know every Kosovan winger around??). It would have been three out of three if Igor Denisov’s injury time dipping rocket had dipped an inch or so lower instead of smacking off the bar, so I could almost claim a moral clean sweep.
For the time being however I will be satisfied with just the two bets netting me over £100 between them. In the entirely predictable world of the Russian Premier League, those rare nuggets of reliable odds are like gold dust, so I will do my best to unearth those unseen gems of betting consistency. We won’t be talking of “Gretna to win, Kenny Deuchar to score first” proportions – ah, those glorious days of a Scottish nailed-on treble of Celtic, Rangers and Gretna… However, keep your chin up, follow me, and I’m sure we‘ll find the elusive pot of gold. Guaranteed.*
*not in any way, shape or form guaranteed.
P.s. This week I am on betting advice duty at Russian Football News, so head over there for a look at more tips for this week.
Bet 1 Saturday 19 March
Treble on Ufa to Draw with Dinamo, Terek to beat Ural, CSKA to beat Kuban, £10 @ 4.92/1
Potential Return £59.20
I’ll hold my hands up, I’ve caught the treble bug. After last week’s success, I have decided to go for a Saturday special covering all three games, with Ufa first up to draw with Dinamo. Outside the community of Russian Premier League aficionados, Ufa will be a name that conjures up precisely nothing to the casual observer, other than being the home of former Arsenal midfielder and testicle grabber Emmanuel Frimpong. They are in fact a very capable outfit, despite limping along on paper in the relegation playoff places. In Oleksandr Zinchenko they have an electric winger who creates chances out of nothing, and they’ve only conceded 12 at home this season, fewer than third placed Spartak. Dinamo meanwhile are incapable of finishing off matches, having won once since August and only once away all season.
Terek are my tip for European qualification this season. They have a ludicrously well drilled defence under Rashid Rakhimov which has only let in seven at home where they are unbeaten, whereas entertaining as they are, Ural have conceded the second highest number of goals in the league. My heart says Ural after their stirring 4-2 win last week, but my head says Terek. CSKA to beat Kuban is not quite as foregone a conclusion as it would have been a few months ago, but they still have too much to offer going forward, while Kuban are still battling to get out of the relegation places.
Bet 2 Sunday 20 March, Krylia v Zenit
Over 4.5 total goals £10 @ 6/1
Potential Returns: £70
After the spring season’s first weekend which saw the season’s lowest league-wide tally of eleven goals, everybody seems to have shaken off the winter rust, in particular Zenit. Last week’s match against Rubin showed that they are far from infallible, but the sheer volume of chances they create from all angles means they are nailed on to win this one. Six goals were in the Rubin match, and while home advantage accounted for some of their confidence, Rubin are a much stronger proposition than Krylia. The hosts haven‘t scored in their last five at home, a run stretching back to the middle of September, but they can now boast the lively Gianni Bruno as well as the fully fit Yoann Mollo, so will aways be potentially ready to threaten.
It was tempting to go for over 5.5 goals at the huge price of 16/1, but 6/1 for over 4.5 still offers an excellent return. The worrying statistic is Zenit’s winless run away from home now standing at six matches, or since August, but they have a whole new momentum and a much improved squad – already the strongest in the league – which is also free of the distraction of European competition. The assumption is that Zenit will win comfortably, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Krylia contributed to the scoreline.
Bet 3 Sunday 20 March, Rubin v Mordovia
Rubin to win & Over 2.5 goals, £10 @ 9/4
Potential Return: £32.50
This one is like stealing candy from a baby. Ok, I might look very stupid if it remains a low scoring affair, but I have to have at least one safe bet as a back up and this one is fantastic value. Mordovia are a terrible side in deep, deep trouble; bottom of the table, no wins away from home, the only club not make any winter signings while two key players left. The only ray of light is that they have a respectable defensive record (12 conceded in nine away games) for a side in their position, but statistics won’t count for much on a different surface at the Kazan Arena.
Rubin were enterprising against the champions Zenit last week despite falling to a 4-2 defeat, especially as Marko Devic returned and instantly sparked the attack into life. They’ve won four of their last six at home, where six out of this season’s nine games have produced three or more goals. My gut tells me there will be more than three, but for the sake of building a profit I have decided to keep it to only over 2.5. The value is fantastic though, and this is my nap of the week.