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Midweek Football Tips: 23rd & 24th April
by David Lenton
We had a very profitable week last week with positive profits posted on both the Champions League and Europa League quarter-final second leg games.
Unfortunately the weekend didn’t go to plan but we were still up on the bookmakers for the week.
Anyway… on to this week.
We have two games each on Tuesday and Wednesday and the big game everyone will be keeping a close eye on is the Manchester derby on Wednesday evening.
It is all set up for an Old Trafford cracker, but it is not the only game this week and all four will be part of my selections for my midweek tips.
Football Tips: Tuesday 23rd April
April 23, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
April 23, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Defeat at Manchester City last weekend leaves Spurs still in third but they now face a real battle to finish in the top four places over the last four games of the season.
Brighton earned a point away at a lacklustre Wolves on Saturday, but they face a very tough run in with games against Newcastle, Arsenal & Man City to finish the season.
The teams met back in September when a Harry Kane penalty and Erik Lamela strike handed Spurs a 2-1-win, Brighton’s goal an injury time strike from Anthony Knockaert.
The teams have not played that often previously. Spurs winning 13 of the 27 games, Brighton just six with eight games being draws. Spurs are unbeaten in this fixture since 1983.
Tottenham now have a real battle on with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United for the two possible Champions League qualifying places this season, and if Arsenal or Chelsea win the Europa League, which is feasible, then that may be down to just one place. As such, that defeat to Manchester City last week has really thrown the door open to Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd.
Brighton meanwhile are embroiled in their own battle to try and stay in the Premier League. A good point at Wolves at the weekend stretched their lead to three points over Cardiff, but with a very difficult run in, Brighton will know that they are going to have to pick up points in some unlikely places to ensure their safety.
In truth, I can’t see them doing that at Spurs new ground. By all accounts, it is an incredible amphitheatre for football and create an outstanding vocal backing from the crowd. It has served Spurs well already, particularly in the Champions League and I can see it being a key factor in this games too.
Even without Harry Kane, Spurs look dangerous with Son moving into a more advanced role and thriving and as such, I think he will be the catalyst for Tottenham to pick up three valuable points here and I would be very surprised if Brighton trouble the scoresheet.
A good win for Watford at Huddersfield saw them move into 7th place in the Premier League although they are 15 points adrift of Man Utd in sixth place above them.
Southampton went down 3-1 to an Ayoze Perez hattrick at Newcastle on Saturday evening. That leaves them 16th in the table on 36 points. Five ahead of Cardiff in 18th.
The teams played out a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s in November. Manolo Gabbiadini scoring for Saints before a late Jose Holebas strike levelled things for Watford.
Since 2008, Watford have beaten Southampton just once, a 2-0 home win in September 2017. In the 11 games since 2008, Saints have won five with five draws.
Watford seem to have found some very good form of late and with an FA Cup Final to look forward to against Manchester City, they will want to keep a high-level performance going into that game, in which they will be the massive underdogs.
However Javi Gracia’s men have proven to be tough to beat by any team this season and I think they will be keen to continue that solid and stoic form against a Southampton side that, while five points clear of safety at the time of writing, will still not be entirely comfortable about their place in the Premier League next season.
The Saints have started to ship goals in recent games and that will worry Ralph Hassenhuttl, especially against a Watford side who have in form strikers such as Gerard Deulefeu to call upon although Troy Deeney will serve the second of his three-game suspension for being dismissed against Arsenal.
Even so, I feel Watford have a ready-made replacement in Gray to come in and as such, I am backing them to pick up he win here, although I do feel Southampton will find the net as they have scored in all of their last seven games.
Watford to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £40.00
After their FA Cup defeat to Watford, Wolves have gone off the boil losing at Southampton before drawing 0-0 at home to Brighton at the weekend.
The Gunners lie in fifth place in the table ahead of this game against Wolves but have a game in hand over Chelsea who currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League table.
The teams met back in November when a late striker from Henrikh Mkhitaryan handed Arsenal a draw after Wolves had led through Ivan Cavaleiro’s 13th minute strike.
If Arsenal don't use this game to over take Chelsea in the table then their Champions League destiny will be out of their hands.
It is fair to say that Wolves seem to have suffered a slump in form following their FA Cup Semifinal exit to Watford. A defeat at Southampton and a draw at home with Brighton suggests that Nuno Santo’s men have a slight hangover from that dramatic defeat at Wembley a couple of weeks ago.
That has seen them drop from 7th to 9th in the table but with a potential Europa League place available for a 7th place finish, Wolves should be motivated enough for their game with Arsenal, who themselves are battling for points to try and ensure Champions League football at the Emirates next season.
Along with Chelsea, the Gunners could clinch that by winning the Europa League, or finishing at least third (or fourth if Chelsea do not win the Europa League) in the Premier League and with the battle for points so close between four teams for that one definite and two possible qualification slots, the Gunners cannot afford to slip up.
However, Wolves have raised their game time and time again against top six sides this season and I think this game will be no different. I think Arsenal will find it tough and while I can’t see them winning, I also feel they won’t lose and in a game where I feel both teams will find the net, 1-1 looks a good selection here.
Utd lie in sixth place in the EPL ahead of this game. They are battling with Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs for a Champions League spot next season.
City are second in the table following their win over Tottenham on Saturday, although they have a game in hand over title rivals Liverpool.
City have won two of their last three at Old Trafford, winning 2-1 in September 2016 and then by the same scoreline in December 2017.
Recent games between the teams though have been evenly split, United winning four, City winning three and there being 2 draws since April 2015.
It is fair to say that this could well be the pivotal game in the Premier League title race. A win for Manchester City would make them huge favourites to retain the title they won last season. A draw or win for Manchester United would not only hugely enhance their Champions League qualification prospects, but would also hand Liverpool the advantage in the title race with just three games to go.
If Kevin De Bruyne is not fit then his absence would be a blow for City but they do have some fine replacements to come in. United meanwhile have injury concerns of their own and they are also in the middle of a poor run of results with just two wins from their last seven games ahead of their trip to Everton on Easter Sunday.
City’s record at Old Trafford recently is good, but there are also signs that the effort required to maintain interest in all the competitions they have is taking their toll. They laboured at times to a win at Tottenham and in some games of late, they have started to flag late on in matches.
I can see City scoring here but I think United will also grab a goal and as the game wears on, I can see it becoming end to end. Literally, this game could be any score and I am not totally confident of this selection but I have gone for the draw, which is the result which probably suits neither team truth be told.
David 'the Cheeky Punter' Lenton is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has also worked for a number of top bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. With such a long time spent dedicated to the gambling industry no one is better placed when it comes to advising punters. Follow on Twitter @thecheekypunter