Welcome to the Gurgler’s UK Football Weekly. Well not quite weekly as we only posted something a few days ago for Boxing Day, but who are we and you to complain about too much football. Another full batch of fixtures just before the FA Cup third round next weekend.
– Wins for all the big boys on Boxing Day leaves the ladder the same as before Christmas except for Southampton replacing West Ham as the official surprise packet, and some shuffling on the lower decks of the relegation ship.
– The three lower divisions are even closer than the almighty EPL. The Championship has a top four within 3 points of each other, not to be outdone ,the fourth tier League Two has its top four with 2 points. But the closest battle is in League One where there is only a point separating the top four. One could argue that the Football League’s enforced Financial Fair play could be a cause of such closeness. It even allows for a team like Ipswich Town to be second in the Championship with a squad assembled for just 10,000 pounds in transfers fees.
– Still no EPL manager casualties, but Crystal Palace’s Neil Warnock is the new favourite for first chop. A loss at Loftus Road will seal the deal. Here’s some semi-interesting manager facts from Boxing Day’s bit that we’re keeping to cover for a lack of effort in discussing more points.
[table caption=”Manager Changes 2014-15,” width=”350″ colwidth=”125|125|100″ colalign=”left|left|left”]
Division,Changes ,Average Stay (League-wide)
Premier League,0 Changes,2 Years & 7 months
Championship,14 Changes, 10 months
League One,5 Changes,1 Year & 10 months
League Two,8 Changes,1 Year & 6 months
[table caption=”Longest Serving Managers” width=”350″ colwidth=”125|125|100″ colalign=”left|left|left”]
Division,Manager (Team),Stay (Current Pos)
Premier League,Arsne Wenger (Arsenal),18.2 years (6th)
Premier League,Alan Pardew (Newcastle),4 years (9th)
Premier League,Sam Allardyce (West Ham),3.5 years (4th)
Championship,Steve Evans (Rotherham), 2.7 years (19th)
Championship,Eddie Howe (Bournemouth), 2.2 years (1st)
Championship,Mick McCarthy (Ipswich), 2.1 years (2nd)
League One,Karl Robinson (Milton Keynes),4.62 years (2nd)
League One,Dean Smith (Walsall),4 years (13th)
League One,Darren Ferguson (Peterborough),4 years (9th)
League Two,Paul Tisdale (Exeter),8.5 years (8th)
League Two,Jim Bentley (Morecambe),3.6 years (10th)
League Two,Justin Edinburgh (Newport),3.2 years (7th)
EPL Sunday – Spurs v Manchester United – Some of Man Utd’s players last chance before the next spending spree.
EPL Sunday – QPR v Crystal Palace – the poor man’s London derby
EPL Sunday – Hull v Leicester – 6 pointer relegation battle anyone?
CHAMP Sunday – Blackburn v Middlesboro – An EPL fixture of yore playing for a return.
L2 Sunday – Shrewsbury v Wycombe – Top three battle leg 2
L2 Sunday – Carlisle v York – League Two should have a 6 pointer too.
Here’s the rest of the upcoming fixtures.
EPL UPCOMING FIXTURES
So it’s all come to this, our best selections and tips for you to turn into many dollar, pound, euro or rupee. Please accept our best bets.
[table caption=”EPL Best Bets Multi A – $27,” width=”300″ colwidth=”150|150″ colalign=”left|left”]
MANCHESTER UTD to win,v Spurs
CHELSEA to win,v Southampton
STOKE to win,v WBA
UNDER 2.5 goals,Aston Villa v Sunderland
MANCHESTER CITY to win,v Burnley
OVER 2.5 goals,QPR v C Palace
[table caption=”EPL Best Bets Multi B – $163,” width=”300″ colwidth=”150|150″ colalign=”left|left”]
SWANSEA to win,v Liverpool
DRAW,Newcastle v Everton
DRAW,West Ham v Arsenal
DRAW,Hull v Leicester
[table caption=”Championship Best Bets Multi – $70,” width=”300″ colwidth=”150|150″ colalign=”left|left”]
WOLVES to win,v Brentford
NORWICH to win,v Reading
UNDER 2.5 goals,Huddersfield v Bolton
DRAW,Blackburn v Middsboro
DERBY to win,v Leeds
IPSWICH to win,v Charlton
[table caption=”L1 Best Bets Multi – $33,” width=”300″ colwidth=”150|150″ colalign=”left|left”]
ROCHDALE to win,v Fleetwood
UNDER 2.5 goals,Sheff Utd v Scunthorpe
SWINDON to win,v Port Vale
MILTON KEYNES to win,v Walsall
PRESTON to win,v Crewe
BRISTOL CITY to win,v Gillingham
LEYTON ORIENT to win,v Yeovil
[table caption=”L2 Best Bets Multi – $52,” width=”300″ colwidth=”150|150″ colalign=”left|left”]
PORTSMOUTH to win,v AFC Wimbledon
LUTON to win,v Portsmouth
BURTON to win,v Accrington
PLYMOUTH to win,v Oxford
SHREWSBURY to win,v Wycombe
SOUTHEND to win,v Dagenham & Redbridge
UNDER 2.5 goals,Carlsile v York