Football betting: Wolves can roar to derby victory

Mick McCarthy.

Mick McCarthy.

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IT could be another tough week for those who like to have a bet on the Premier League with a host of games looking very difficult to call.

Take the Blackburn v Blackpool fixture at Ewood Park for example, one where you have to work out whether useless can get the better of worse than useless.

Then there’s the encounter in the north east between Sunderland and Liverpool where recent previous form to take into account involves a beach ball and a gusting wind.

Meanwhile, Man City, on their day, are capable – as they did last year – of turning over Chelsea at the Bridge and West Ham could do the same against a now-distracted Spurs at the Lane.

Keep brass in pocket is the advice for all of those matches, but if you feel that it is burning a hole then don’t be afraid to throw a few quid in the direction of the 7/2 available on Wolves when they make the short journey to Villa Park this Saturday.

Hardly a conventional pick, I know, but don’t you think that with most punters loath to take perceived chances that the bookies will ease their prices on the outsiders, hoping to balance often hopelessly one-sided books?

Of course they do and sometimes – such as in this instance – value often ensues.

Yes, Villa have been a touch better since the turn of the year as a result of a few key men coming back from injury and the arrival of one or two half-decent transfer window captures, but the side that Gerard Houllier turned out against Bolton at the Reebok in their last game will hardly have Wolves boss Mick McCarthy quaking with fear.

Kyle Walker, Nathan Baker, Ciaran Clark and Luke Young at the back for a start. Stop-gap doesn’t even begin to describe that cobbled-together unit when you consider that the likes of Carlos Cuellar, James Collins and Richard Dunne are, for varying reasons, all unavailable.

McCarthy will be desperate to get hold of the final team sheet just after two o’clock on Saturday and if he sees the same defensive quartet in the starting 11, then expect a grin to light up his face.

Of course it won’t be pretty because McCarthy still sets his side up to play the one-dimensional way that he’s famous for. But he doesn’t need to rival Barcelona’s percentage possession rate to get something out of a game.

Instead, he gets his players chasing, he gets them harrying and when mistakes are forced he makes sure that his water carriers get the ball quickly to the feet of the speed merchants such as Adam Hammill, Matthew Jarvis and Stephen Hunt who drive forward at pace.

And with Kevin Doyle in good form any chances should be finished so comprehensively that even Villa’s prolific Darren Bent won’t be able to rescue his team.

Take Wolves to a few quid then at the fancy odds and have a small correct score of 3-2 at 33/1 as well – a good price set to be great come tea-time on Saturday.

Something for the Weekend

3 homes: Ipswich, Huddersfield & Southampton (11/4).

3 aways: Leeds, QPR & Brighton (10/1).

Steer clear of: Man Utd (2/5 at home to Bolton).

* Odds supplied by Taylor’s Bookmakers and Exchange Shop, LS28 6PA and may vary. For inquiries telephone (0113) 2568268 during office hours.

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