Vernon Grant writes:- I am the first to acknowledge that there are lots of good punters and tipsters out there. People who work full time at studying form, be it on horse racing or football. On the internet, including on Twitter, there are good people who offer their thoughts and tips free, or for a token fee.
When it comes to European football, James Darby knows what he is talking about.
I am always quick to acknowledge when I have won on a tip put up by someone else. And I have James to thanks for putting the idea in my head, months ago, that Pep Guardiola may choose to manager Bayern Munich over any English club. James asked one bookie for odds and when I saw that bookie offer James 14-1, my eyes opened wide.
That was too good to ignore because, as James highlighted at a time when everyone was saying Guardiola was Stamford Bridge bound; Bayern Munich was a perfect fit for Pep. A club which would let him plan for the future long term. Rather than one owned by someone playing Russian roulette.
So I thank James for my £140 winnings.
Next week the Champions League is back. In the first of an occasional series of articles, James Darby gives us his thoughts on the games next week and also gives you an insight into how he, like me, goes about being a profitable punter on an annual basis.
Inevitably, some odds may have changed since James wrote this article for VG Tips. These are his views. As a Barcelona fan, you’ll not find me talking about Real Madrid in such glowing terms!
JAMES DARBY of www.jdfootballbetting.com WRITES..
Each year apart from my weekly trading/betting I target bets, sometimes months in advance, and invest in them.
I will be keeping you informed of these selections on a quarterly basis and hopefully by the end of the year, you will see some profit.
By getting a majority of them correct, it makes a big difference to the balance sheet at the end of the year.
I find that these planned and ‘targeted’ bets have a high success rate and often you can obtain good early prices.
For example last year, as soon as the last 16 draw was made for the UCL, I recognised that Napoli were an outstanding price to beat Chelsea at home in Naples and I immediately invested in them on a draw no bet basis.
At Euro 2012, I targeted the Spain v Republic of Ireland match as a source of profit some months in advance. As an Irishman, I was more than familiar with the limitations of the Irish team and knew that they would be beaten soundly by this great Spanish team and would be eliminated early at the competition. Value is a word often misused in betting.
Spain were 2/5 (1.40) to beat Republic of Ireland and evens (2.0) on a handicap. For me, this was one of the best value bets of the year as it was never really in doubt, barring some miracle.
I do not confine my investments to just football. I follow politics closely and the re-election of Barack Obama last November proved a profitable selection.
They do not always win and my biggest loss on a single bet last year was Barcelona to eliminate Chelsea in the UCL semi final stage. That cut into my profit margin, but the year was profitable in terms of these longer term bets.
My biggest win was Bayern Munich to be the next club of Pep Guardiola.
I identified that bet in December at 14/1 (15.0).
The European Champions League and the Europa League will reach its knock out phase in February and we have some mouth watering matches to look forward to.
I have already taken a position on Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Metalist Kharkiv all to qualify for the next round.
That price was 3/1 (4.0) with William Hill at the time but they have shortened it slightly to 14/5 (3.84).
I still think it is worth an investment at that price.
Bayern Munich have been outstanding all season and are running away with the Bundesliga title. They are an efficient and classy unit. They have conceded only 7 league goals at the time of writing and should have too much for an Arsenal team who have regressed this season.
Real Madrid take on Manchester United in probably the tie of the round.
The Champions League means the world to Real Madrid and their season depends on this competition.
They are a better team than Manchester United and are worthy favourites to progress. We can never discount a team managed by Sir Alex Ferguson but, if you examine their performances in the UCL over the past 2 years, it is difficult to find a fully convincing and commanding 90 minute performance, even against modest opposition.
If Real Madrid fail to eliminate Manchester United, expect Jose Mourinho to be shown the door.
Metalist Kharkiv are one of the best teams in Ukraine. They are not on the same level as the Shakhtar Donetsk side that have pleased so many neutrals this season but, at Europa league level; they are a force to be reckoned with this season. They face Newcastle United who are now embroiled in a real relegation scrap at the foot of the English Premier League.
The Europa League is not a priority of Alan Pardew’s men and Metalist Kharkiv can take advantage of this and qualify.
Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Metalist Kharkiv all to qualify. Odds 14/5 William Hill [symple_spacing size=”30px”][display-posts tag=”football,betting,results” posts_per_page=”7″]