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Portugal V Mexico, Confederations cup

Semi final time and you would have been a brave man to bet against the 4 that got through doing just that. Clearly the best 4 sides in the comp and what will now have a very interesting final no matter the results in the semi’s.

Mexico are a very solid side. they don’t have the names of the other 3 but their domestic league is always under valued for the quality it contains. They will match ball retention and have some very good players.

However at 2.4 we think Portugal are great value. Ronaldo gives them the ability to finish off what they create and in big knock out games that is what you need. It’s the last comp when he will be at his absolute best and so we think he will want this one.

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England U21 V Germany U 21

English football has had a good summer at the more junior levels. Winning the U 20 world cup was massive as it creates history which motivates players to try to do it again. It also sends players into senior tournaments in the future with a clear idea of how to win.

Tactically the Under 21’s play the same way as the under 20’s did and it is working.

They face a step up in class tonight though as Germany are a very solid side. It’s unlikely England will get too many chances so to win they have to be clinical.

We think at 3.1 with Bet365 they could well be just that though.

England have the face and physical strength to compete with Germany, if we score the chances we make we should win.

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The Open 2017

Another U.S. Open is in the books and there will be plenty of time to let Brooks Koepka’s dominant showing at Erin Hills simmer. Really analyze what this first major victory means for the 27-year-old bomber who made it to the PGA Tour via the Challenge and European Tours.

Let’s forgo all that for now and turn our attention ahead to the 2017 British Open. It will be tough to top that epic Henrik Stenson-Phil Mickelson battle last year at Royal Troon, but this annual trip across the pond rarely fails to deliver the the drama.

Here’s what you need to know about the 2017 British Open coming up July 20-23.

The course: Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

This classic course has hosted the Open nine times, most recently in 2008 when Padraig Harrington won his second straight Open championship. His daring approach on 17 which led to eagle and ultimately a four-shot victory is still fresh in our minds as the world’s best prepare to take on Royal Birkdale yet again. Featuring small fairways and sand dunes around the greens, accuracy is a must at this par-70, 7,156-yard venue. Camilo Vilegas’ 5-under 65 was the lowest score from any player in 2008.

The favorites: As of Thursday, Paddy Power lists Dustin Johnson as the heavy favorite at 7/1 odds. That’s no surprise given how dominant he’s been, and we fully expect him to stay the favorite despite a missed cut last week at Erin Hills. Here’s what the top of the board looks like:

Dustin Johnson –10/1

Jordan Spieth – 12/1

Rory McIlroy – 12/1

Sergio Garcia – 18/1

Rickie Fowler – 16/1

Jason Day – 16/1

Henrik Stenson – 18/1

Hideki Matsuyama – 18/1

Justin Rose – 20/1

Jon Rahm – 22/1

Adam Scott – 25/1

Phil Mickelson – 25/1

Trending: Koepka’s win at Erin Hills makes it seven straight first-time major winners, dating back to Jason Day’s 2015 PGA Championship win at Whistling Straights. That’s a lot of new blood in the majors club and points to the amount of depth and overall parity on Tour these days. Might we see this trend continue in England? Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler were firmly in the hunt Sunday at the U.S. Open and are maybe the best two players in the game without a major title. Fowler has been close at the British Open before, finishing T-5 in 2011 and T-2 in 2014. Matsuyama finished T-6 in 2013 but missed the cut a year ago. Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker are a few others looking to break through and add a defining victory to their resumes.

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England v Spain

International friendlies mid season are pretty tough to get excited about, even when you have 2 countries with the football pedigree of England and Spain. We will get to the game shortly but first the point needs to be made that these fixtures need to scrapped quickly. Managers learn next to nothing as players are thinking about Saturday. Surely a deal can be done to scrap the mid season stuff and swap it for an end of season tournament in the years without a world cup or Euro’s? Group the top 4 in the Fifa word rankings and then move down the list placing teams in groups based on their Fifa ranking.

If that was decided now then England would be in a group with Uruguay, Spain and Wales. It should carry a lot of points and so go a long way to deciding which group you qualified for next time out. Each team would only play 3 games with a simple league table showing the winner. Fans would enjoy it and coaches would actually learn something, it would also for the first time make people interested in Fifa’s points system.

As for tonights feast what do we think will happen? Spain start as slights favs and have some pretty serious injury worries at the back. England with Rooneys injury should field a pretty strong 11, although Vardy up top is a worry at this level.

If you fancy Spain then Hills are top price at 2.625. Away from home with injuries this feels a little short to us, go with England at 3.0 with Betfred

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Sunderland v Arsenal, Saturday the 29th of Oct at 12.30

Sunderland have to land a punch soon otherwise no matter how well they play after Christmas they are going to be down. They don’t score many and seem completely unable to come back if they do go a goal down.

So all in all they could probably do without the visit of Arsenal. Sunderland have used up their easy games and now face a tough run that will define their season.

Arsenal tend to be better at getting results away from home where teams come onto them more and we don’t see any reason why they will not win this one.

The price is short but fair as they really only need 1 if they score first.

188 are top at 1.42

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Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Saturday the 29th of Oct at 5.30

Liverpool are genuine title contenders and these are the sort of games that decide the title. Most of the favs will win most of their home games against teams below them in the league, the team that gets 3 points most often from this sort of fixture will come out on top.

Palace have lost their last 2 and although they have got some quality in their side they are lacking pace, and that is likely to be telling against this high intensity Liverpool side.

Liverpool played midweek but rested nearly everyone so that is not really a factor.

Liverpool we think are backable just at a top price of 1.73 with betfred

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Everton v West Ham, 30th Oct at 1.30

Everton have not won for 5 games and if they are to keep up with the Champions League places and from that hold onto Lukaku then these are must win games. Their run has included a good point at City so they will still feel confident.

We do like Everton for this game, they have enough quality to get the 3 points at home. However the price is awful. You can get 1.8 at Hills

which is about the best out there and for us that is not enough to temp us into parting with hard earned cash.

The issue is that West Ham are in better form having won their last 2 and really have a very similar amount of quality, so it is hard to see where 1.8 comes from.

We think back West Ham on the Asian line of +1, that way if Everton do nick it you get your money back. The best price for that bet is with 1.64 with VC

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Southampton v Chelsea, Sunday 26th Oct at 4.00

Any true armchair football fans will be looking forward to this one. It does not perhaps have the glamour of a Manchester Derby but for quality and form it promises to be one of the games of the season.

Chelsea have pulled themselves right back into the title race after looking dead and gone a few weeks back and Saints after their usual slow start are playing the best football in the league.

It makes it a tough game to call as both have midweek league cup games where they will rest most players and both will want the full 3 points.

If you fancy Chelsea to carry on where they left off against United then you can bag them at a top price of 2.37 with 32 Red.

As good as Chelsea were last time out we think Saints will get something from this. They are playing fantastic football and will in our opinion score, not sure if they can get all 3 points but they will be competitive. You can back them on the Asian line + 0.5 at 1.69 with VC

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United V City, Saturday 12.30

They don’t come much bigger than this match up. Its billed as the most expensive game ever in terms of talent on the pitch, although really that should qualify it as the worst value squads ever collected when you look at Barca V Real as a comparison.

Anyway lets just say its a big game. United have no real injury worries apart from Luke Shaw and are at home. They now have someone up front who causes any defense issues and a solid back 4. City are missing their best player but perhaps still have the better squad and are certainly well set up for playing on the break.

With that taken into account its hard to pick a winner, so in our view don’t. Back the draw at a tasty looking 3.3 at Hills

Apart from being well balanced they would rather both not lose than win. If they draw they are on 10 points each from 4 games and will both go away happy.

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Liverpool v Leicester, Saturday 5.30

The Champions travel to Liverpool in the Saturday evening game and it looks like an interesting match up. Liverpool have looked pretty good in all their games so far but still seem to be struggling to put the ball in the net. Leicester had a bad result against Hull but since then look more like their old selves.

Liverpool look very short at a best price of just 1.67 at Paddy Power. 

We prefer to take Leicester on the Asian lines. You can back them + 1 at 188 at a massive 1.84.

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