Sunday, 25 November 2007

2 pts win NEWMAN DES PLAGUES 8.8/1 ( Betfair) Totesport Games H'cap Hdle
1 pt win NEVER SO BLUE 12/1 ( generally available) Totesport Games H'cap Hdle

This is an interesting puzzle to try and solve. Soufleur is too short to entertain at his present odds. he beat moderate sorts here last time and has a 12lb higher mark to overcome here. Odiham is a fascinating contender but his inexperience over obstacles has to be a concern, and it could pay to take a chance with Newman Des Plagues on his first run for his new yard. He has some very useful French form to boast of, particularly when not being neaten too far behind the top class Cyrlight at Auteuil last October. The yard's horses are in the main performing OK at the moment and it would be no surprise if this gelding went very close here.

It's likely that Never So Blue will arrive here fully tuned up. The Taunton form when he finished runner up giving weight to Saunder's Road is eyecatching and he appeals as one who will be better served by this longer trip. Certainly worth entertaining at his present odds.

Lost - 3pts

2 pts win BEWLEY'S BERRY 6.8/1 ( Betfair)Totesport Becher Chase
1 pt win PAK JACK 22/1 ( Betfair)Totesport Becher Chase

It's hard to ignore the clear claims of Bewley's Berry here. He looked sure to play a major role in the National before coming down - he'd jumped well up to that point and went round here like an old timer when second in this race last year. He remains on a winnable mark, will be 100 % spot on, and is priced about right.

Pak Jack does not find much when coming under pressure and that impression lends weight to the argument that he is running out of stamina. Today's race should settle the argument once and for all and at his present odds, on his first run for his new yard, it could be worth taking a positive view as he has jumped faultlessly in his two outings on this circuit. He appears to have his quirks but these types have their day when everything falls right for them and he'll run a race today.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 24 November 2007

2 pts win POUVOIR 5.4/1 ( Betfair) Reg Griffin Timeform Hdle

1 pt win PIGEON ISLAND 11/1 ( Betfair) Reg Griffin Timeform Hdle

There’s nothing between Gwanko and Pouvoir on these terms but the latter has ran since the Chepstow race and strictly on figs has put up a lifetime best. He created a very favourable impression when winning at Kempton in January, looking as though he would develop into a strong Triumph hurdle candidate. That was not to be the case though he has confirmed himself as being up to this sort of grade, will not be hindered by further ease in the ground, and is set to go very close here.

Pigeon Island improved when stepped up in trip in the autumn but has since ran to the same level of form when dropped back down at Cheltenham last weekend. That race will turn out to be as hot as it looked with the winner probably developing into a live Champion Hurdle hope – and maybe Osana too if he’s kept to the smaller obstacles. Ideally you’d have more confidence in Pigeon Island over a few furlongs further but at his present odds you can live with the negatives.

Pigeon Island won + 8.5pts

2 pts win HALCON GENELARDIS 11.5/1 ( Betfair) Betfair Fixed Brush H’cap Hdle

1 pt win DE SOTO 17.5/1 ( Betfair)Betfair Fixed Brush H’cap Hdle

Similar to when winning this last year, Halcon Genelardis runs in this as a prep for the Welsh National. It’s likely he’ll be forward enough to do himself justice though and while he’s 12lb higher in the ratings here, the animal he beat last year was in the form of his life at the time and went on to run Inglis Drever to a neck on his next outing, while there was a further six lengths back to the very useful Jazz D’Estruval. He makes plenty of appeal here and is preferred over his stable companion who, though travelling surprisingly well in his race last time, has a lot more on his plate here. There are too many threats for Taranis to be worth embracing at his present odds and it could be worth having small stakes on De Soto. He was bought out of Paul Webber’s yard for a considerable sum with a view to going chasing, was mixing it in with some of the best novice hurdlers last season, and if forward enough is an interesting proposition stepped up in trip.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win HEEZ A DREAMER 5.6/1 ( Betfair) Betting As It Should Be H’cap Chase

1 pt win KING HARALD 9.5/1 ( Betfair)Betting As It Should Be H’cap Chase

Venetia William’s horses are back to form and she’s strongly represented on today’s card. Heez A Dreamer looks as though he has plenty of more improvement left in him and appeals as one who will pay to follow blindly this season. He is likely to be tuned up for this and a reproduction of his fifth to Joe’s Edge at the festival will see him go very close to winning this.

The likeable King Harald chalked up his first victory in two and a half years last time. Lightly raced and clearly difficult to train, he is fairly handicapped on his best form and with there being not so many miles on the clock there’s a good chance that he may still be capable of reproducing the level of form displayed a couple of seasons back.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win ARMAGUEDON 7/1 ( Betfair) Betfair Casino H’cap Chase

1 pt win BRAVE VILLA 10/1 ( Betfair) Betfair Casino H’cap Chase

The Lungo horses seems in good heart at the moment and the lightly raced Armaguedon is sure to be spot on for this and makes considerable appeal in a race that is perhaps not as competitive as it first appears, as it’s littered with animals that make mistakes, or have question marks over their fitness or well being. In his early days Armaguedon looked as though he’d eventually make his mark at a higher level than he has but has evidently been beset with physical problems. Despite being nine he should still be capable of producing form beyond the best he’s shown so far and he should go close to winning this.

Brave Villa is worth back up support. He’s shown improvement in the region of two stone this autumn, was not disgraced last time, and has far fewer question marks than most of his rivals here.

Lost - 3 pts

Friday, 23 November 2007

3 pts win OSNABRUCK 1.06/1 ( Betfair) v Carl Zeiss Jena Bundesliga 2

Osnabruck have settled in well in this league after gaining promotion from the regionals. Although they've been weak on the road, losing all 6 games,they are 3 from 4 at home, and were value for the victory in their last home fixture against FC Koln, where they dominated the first half. A similar performance will more than suffice here against opponents already involved in a relegation struggle. Admittedly, Jena put up a fighting performance away to Monchengladbach last time and could have easily come away with a point, but that was in the sort of venue that can inspire the smaller team, and the home side perhaps went into the game taking three points for granted. Overall Jena have been very poor, picking up 6 pts from 13 games, and the home side should be too strong for them here.

Osnabruck 1 Jena 1 - 3 pts

Sunday, 18 November 2007

3 pts win VOY POR USTEDES 1.2/1 ( Betfair) Paddy Power H’cap Chase

There’s no way Kauto Star would have beat this terrific individual around here as easily as he did at Sandown, and despite conceding plenty of weight to his rivals today he must take all of the beating. Considering that it was only the ground that prevented connections from running him at Exeter the other week, it’s fair to assume that he’ll not be far of full fitness and while you need 1 from 2 at these sort of prices just to keep level, all things considered he is fairly priced.

Lost - 3 pts

1 pt win CHIVALRY 20/1 ( Betfair) Greatwood H’cap Hdle

1 pt win POQUELIN 21/1 ( Betfair) Greatwood H’cap Hdle

1 pt win MANHATTAN BOY 28/1 ( Betfair) Greatwood H’cap Hdle

With the rain certain to have altered the ground any early thoughts on this event need revising. It’s as wide open as first appears, but worth getting stuck into with room to take three decent priced animals against the field.

The Venetia Williams horses are running better now and Chivalry has claims here. Clearly no the easiest to train, he showed last time that he retains all of his ability, will act in the ground, and seems set to put up a forward showing. Poquelin finished inched behind Chivalry at Wincanton the other week. He has form with give, and his generous price on the exchanges is perhaps a over-reaction to Nicholl’s stating that he’ll probably be better suited by a flatter track. Nevertheless, from a figures view he ran his best race of last season when sixth here in the Triumph and has genuine claims here. Manhattan Boy is a fascinating contender here. He looked classy when winning his first two starts last season, revels in soft ground, is fit from a run on the flat, and his riders claim reduces his racing weight to 10st 1lb. Definitely worth an interest at his current exchange odds.

Lost (Poquelin NR) - 2 pts

Friday, 16 November 2007

3 pts win ALBERTA’S RUN 7/2 ( Betfair) Club 16 – 24 Novice Chase

After a highly satisfactory introduction to chasing at Exeter, Alberta’s Run came unstuck at Aintree last time. It’s impossible to guage the exact cost of his mistakes as the winner impressed all – however, this animal too went into the race as a potential big player in the top novice events and judging by comments by connections since they haven’t lost faith. Admittedly, the yard could be in better form and it’s fingers crossed regarding his jumping, but the longer trip will assist in that department and he is worth another chance here – as apart from the hard to assess Nicholl’s horse, this lot are nothing special.

Won + 10 pts

2 pts win GRANIT JACK 7/2 ( Ladbrokes and Betfair) Paddy Power Gold Cup

1 pt win BOB HALL 13/1 ( Betfair) Paddy Power Gold Cup

You’re either with or against Granit Jack here and provided the going is not a hindrance ( on the plus side some believed the going to be neat to ‘Good’ on the Tuesday of the festival ) , we can trust that his yard will have thought this out carefully and are hopefully too professional to run him solely because of his lenient looking mark. It goes without saying that if he’s going to be championship class he’ll have to just about win this and there are too many positives to be put off by trip allied to course, and inexperience.

Bob Hall is well worth smaller stakes. He’s closely handicapped with some of these that he’s met before but has run two fine races in both outings at this venue, surely has further improvement remaining in him and appeals as the type who’ll get involved in the business end of this.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win D’ARGENT 8/1 ( Paddy Power) Servo Computer Services H ‘cap Chase

1 pt win BARON WINDRUSH 8.4/1 ( Betfair) Servo Computer Sevices H’cap Chase

D’Argent won here at the December meeting last year after being absent for over a year and a half. He should not fail for lack of fitness here, has winning form on good ground and against rivals who have at least as many question marks hanging over them, catches the eye at his present odds. He also meets Baron Windrush on considerably better terms than when beaten by him in testing ground at Uttoxeter. The latter found his form again in the spring and with the yard enjoying their customary fruitful early winter run, he should be spot on and is worth back up support, though you have to go back a while to find good ground form with him.

Lost - 3 pts

Monday, 12 November 2007

3 pts OVER 2.5 GOALS 0.83/1 ( Betfair) TSV 1860 Munich v Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga 2

This looks a cracker. Gladbach are racing along at the moment, having won 8 out their last ten and seem able to come away with points even when failing to impress. They were put under severe pressure by Jena last week until Neuville's winner and on paper face one of their stiffest tasks of the season, away to fourth placed 1860. This is sure to be hard fought but with a danger of both teams beginning in a cautious manner. An early goal will no doubt see a couple more following. Gladback are over 2.5 in all of their last ten games while 1860 are overs in 6 of their last 10. There is a worry that 1860 will start slowly as they did in the home match against FC Koln , but weighing up the evidence available there is no doubt that the current price available about over 2.5 with Betfair cannot be ignored and must be taken.

1860 Munich 0 Gladbach 0 - 3 pts

Sunday, 11 November 2007

3 pts win ALEMANNIA AACHEN 0.84/1 ( Betfair) v FC Kaiserslautern Bundesliga 2

FCK have shown improvement of late but it looks as though the remainder of the season is going to be a tidying up exercise as they do not look capable of putting together a sustained run required to propel them up through the table. Aachen do look capable of making a bold bid to return straight to the top flight. Nevertheless, they currently lie in mid- table, 8 pts off the promotion places and only 5 pts ahead of FCK. They are 3W and 3D at Tivoli Stadion this season, and managed to throw away a 2 goal advantage against Hoffenheim in their last home match. Despite losing away to Aue last time they did have a strong spell during the middle of the game but failed to capitalise on it. They appear a better side than the table shows and are a confident choice to win this encounter.

Aachen 2 FCK 1 + 2.4 pts

Saturday, 10 November 2007

3 pts win BAYERN MUNICH 4/5 (Generally available) v VfB Stuttgart Bundesliga 1

Bayern where probably expecting a ' give me' in their UEFA midweek game where some of the decisions Hitzfeld made contributed to the result. They'll no doubt be up for this on their travels today against the reigning champions, and this has the makings of an entertaining encounter. Stuttgart have won their last two domestic games but are still going through a crisis of sorts and will struggle to contain this Bayern team, who when on song unfortunately look a level above their present comtempories. It's difficult to envisage anything other than an away victory here and the Bavarians can be supported with a degree of confidence

Stuttgart 3 Bayern 1 - 3 pts

2 pts win GULL WING 4.1/1 ( Betfair) Totesport EBF Gillies Fillies Stakes

1 pt win LAKE TOYA 7.2/1 ( Betfair) Totesport EBF Gillies Fillies Stakes

GullWing has been absent since the Galtres where she ran a lifetime best and looked a filly capable of improving and making her mark in listed/G3 company. Worries about the trip being a shade sharp are mainly countered by the fact that there have been suitable events in the programme for her both here and abroad in the past few weeks. Fitness too, is unlikely to be an issue and she she’ll be in the mix of this.

Last years winner Lake Toya is worth back up support. Lightly raced and clearly one who’s been difficult to train, she nevertheless has pieces of form that look good in the context of this event, retains all he ability, and provided the ground is not genuinely firm, could bounce back to form.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win SANBUCH 9/1 ( Betfair) Totesport November H’cap

1 pt win HERON BAY 17/1 ( Betfair) Totesport November H’cap

A race well worth getting stuck into with Pippa Greene lacking big field experience and only proven with give, and Heaven Knows and Greek Envoy clearly seeming to need some ease to produce their optimum.

Ideally, you’d want something that travels a little better than Sanbuch, but this lightly raced three year old is ideally matched with Jimmy Fortune, and has for the past few months looked the type capable of winning one of these events. The Cumani horses have been holding their form well and Sanbuch should go very close here.

The Geoff Wragg horses have likewise been running creditably lately and if there’s a hidden Group horse in this race then it’s surely Heron Bay. Admittedly, he’s disappointed since winning at the Royal meeting, and ran too bad to be true at York, but lines up a fresh horse and it’s interesting that for the time being they’ve abandoned the pattern race route and come here.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win POQUELIN 5/2 ( 3 firms and Betfair) Totesport Elite Hurdle

1 pt win POUVOIR 5.2/1 ( Betfair) Totesport Elite Hurdle

The valuable 17 runner event won by King’s Quay lacked in depth quality, and he faces a stiff task off a 5lb higher mark against some real quality looking sorts, none more so than Poquelin who impressed when winning at Ayr in the spring. He gives the impression that he is better than a 130 performer and will prove difficult to beat today.

After his victory at Kempton in January Pouvoir looked as though he could be a player in the Triumph Hurdle, but eventually took his chance on the Fred Winter, where he disappointed before finishing a well beaten third in the Ayr race won by Poquelin. However, he’s started the new season by running a lifetime best at Chepstow and is a live danger here and worth a saver.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5 pts win TOM SAYERS 10/1 ( Betfair, Betdirect, Bluesq, VC ,) Badger Ales Trophy

1.5 pt win TURTHEN 8/1 ( Betfair, Ladbrokes, Bluesq) Badger Ales Trophy

Abragante has obvious claims bit is far from straightforward and worth taking on at his present odds.

Tom Sayers is no star but is in the form of his life at the moment. He’s won here three times - an obvious big plus as Wincanton can be a tricky course - , and though this is a much harder task today, he should give a very good account of himself. Turthen’s career hasn’t been very fruitful since arriving from France but he has shown that he has plenty of ability and connections would have got rid if they’d considered that there was not a lot they could get out of him. On his first start of the season it would be no surprise for him to put up an improved showing and he catches the eye at present odds.

Lost - 3 pts

Friday, 9 November 2007

3 pts OVER 2.5 Goals 0.67/1 ( Betfair) FC Koln v Erzebirge Aue Bundesliga 2

This may not look a particularly appealing bet considering that in three of the last four meetings between these teams, a single goal was scored. But in light of the current mood of these sides, goals are on the cards this evening. Aue are beginning to follow the same pattern as last season, formidable at home and vulnerable on their travels. They applied themselves well to beat Aachen last weekend, after the visitors had a long spell of domination in the middle of the match. However, despite their moderate away form they will, like most visitors to the Rhein Energie Stadion nowadays, not be overawed by the occasion and will fancy themselves to make a match of it. The last seven Cologne matches have ended in three goals or more, and no doubt the FC will play to type, with their front line forever threatening, but the whole team looking at odds with one another when Aue put them under pressure. The over 2.5 seems priced about right here.

FC Koln 3 Aue 2 + 1.92 pts

Monday, 5 November 2007

3 pts BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH ( HT/FT) 0.99/1 ( Betfair) v Carl Zeiss Jena Bundesliga 2

Gladbach and SCF are flying at the moment, and although it's five weeks until the mid-season break, it will be surprising if both fail to win promotion at the end of the season - which means that the other promotion hopefuls are fighting for one place. Certainly a sobering thought for those teams ! Gladbach have won seven out of their last eight, and it's perhaps stretching the imagination too much to think that Jena can come away with anything - though anyone who saw Gladbach's victory over Osnabruck in September, plus the Cologne match more recently, will know that their defence can be penetrated. The odds on the outright victory are too restricted to entertain and the best approach probably lies in backing the HT/FT. In their three home victories Gladbach have led at halftime in all of them, and hopefully they'll breakdown tonight's opponents relatively quickly.

Gladbach 2 Jena 1 ( 1-1 HT ) - 3 pts

Sunday, 4 November 2007

3 pts SC FREIBURG - 1 Asian H'cap 1.07/1 ( Betfair) v TuS Koblenz Bundesliga 2

Koblenz began the season with high ambitions, and Mario Basler is now at the club assisting Uwe Rapolder. They've been performing altogether credibly and did have a player sent off when getting beat 5-0 by Gladbach. Nevertheless, they face perhaps their most difficult assignment in this league in travelling south to Freiburg. SCF are 5 from 5 at home, conceding only 2 goals in those matches. They are impressive to watch, as well as being organised, and have players that most Bundesliga 2 defences are unable to handle. They cannot be opposed here and are worth supporting with a deficit on the Asians.

SCF 4 Koblenz 2 +3.1 pts
2 pts win TWO MILES WEST 4.3/1 ( Betfair) Coors Cumberland H'cap Chase
1 pt win GETINBYBUTONLYJUST 26/1 ( Betfair) Coors Cumberland H'cap Chase

Many of this field are going to be inconvenienced by the rain failing to arrive - none more so than See You There who looked very interesting at the five day stage.

Two Miles West gives the strong impression that he'll appreciate today's trip. He's well in on his hurdles form, is best on good ground, hails from an in form yard, and for one so inexperienced seems a safe enough jumper. With question marks hanging over so many of his rivals you keep getting drawn back to him and he should go close to taking this.

It's gambling with fitness regarding Getinbybutonlyjust, but he was progressing nicely throughout last winter, surely has more improvement left, and his worth chancing for small stakes.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 3 November 2007

3 pts win BORUSSIA DORTMUND 2.15/1 ( Betfair) v Hannover Bundesliga 1

BVB will have been buoyed by holding Bayern to a goalless draw last weekend and appeal at the price to come away from Hannover with a victory today. After BVB had impressed with their 3-0 victory over Bremen in September it looked as though they may have turned the corner - but they've put in some lackluster performances since. Hannover have been picking up plenty of points lately though it must be pointed out that their recent matches have all been against struggling sides, and they will have difficulty containing BVB today. Doll has made it clear that playing safe for draws is now out of the equation and that his team will be going all out for victory today.

Hannover 2 BVB 1 - 3 pts
3 pts win STATE OF PLAY 2.35/1 ( Betfair) Bet 365 Charlie Hall Chase

The is gelding looked top class when winning the Hennessey and went some way to confirming that impression in the Gold Cup, where he was travelling as well as anything coming down the hill. That race probably took it's toll as the level track at Aintree should have been ideal for him, but he ran no race at all, beaten a long way from home. The jockey booking suggests that he's spot on for today and he should prove too good for his opponents. Monkerhostin, Kingscliffe and Ollie Magern have question marks over them regarding there well being, Aces Four is from a stable that blows hot and cold, and is waiting to hit form, while Turko's never appealed as a high class 3 mile chaser.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win OUNINPOHJA 4.1 /1 ( Betfair) William Hill H'cap Hdle
1 pt win RIO DE JANEIRO 13/1 ( Betfair) William Hill H'cap Hdle

Ouninpohja was evidently true to himself in failing to go past a rival in a charity race the other week. However, he is worth one more chance on the basis that if connections really do still have Champion Hurdle dreams, he is surely going to have to win here. He has more raw ability than any of today's rivals, has actually won his only race in this sphere with today's jockey aboard, and will be assisted by the big field fast pace conditions of this event. He's actually fairly priced considering that it will be a major surprise if he's not challenging on the bit at the last.

Rio De Janeiro is worth back up support. It looks as though this race has been the plan for a while, and the recent run on the level will have him spot on. Conditions are ideal, and there could be plenty more improvement left as it appears he's highly thought of by connections.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win HOO LA BALOO 7.8/1 ( Betfair)United House Gold Cup H'cap Chase
1 pt win HARRIS BAY 7.2/1 ( Betfair) United House Gold Cup H'cap Chase

Hoo La Baloo is worth another chance over this trip - in his victory in the amateur race at Sandown over this distance the animal that followed him home was only rated in the 80's ! He ran a blinder over a furlong shorter than today at Market Rasen in ground softer than ideal when running Iron Man to eight lengths and has a big pull with that rival today. Admittedly, he was beaten again behind that rival on revised terms ( though not as attractive as todays) at the same venue on better ground, but as with many of the Bowen animals during that time of year , the winner was in optimum condition. In an open event Hoo La Baloo catches the eye from a value viewpoint and is worth support.

Harris Bay disappointed after winning here last November, where he looked as though he'd go on and win a couple of more handicaps. He's still of considerable interest here. He'd had a run over timber to put him right, and though the handicapper hasn't dropped him for the two poor performances following his victory here, he did look at the time that he'd probably progress to the 140's.

Harris Bay won + 5 pts

2 pts win CARADAK 4.1/1 ( Betfair) Bet 365 Ben Marshall Stakes
1 pt win CALDRA 15/1 ( Betfair)Bet 365 Ben Marshall Stakes

Caradak is the obvious main candidate here but he is good enough to take this and there's a good chance that he'll be in the top of his form here. He didn't reappear until the Hungerford where he finished last, then followed up with a good run in a valuable event in Turkey, followed by a respectable effort in a good quality listed event at Redcar. He is hard to get away from and is sure to go very close here.

Caldra appeals of those at longer odds. He didn't reappear until August, but showed in his first two runs back that he has definitely trained on. Ignore the last two runs and we have an animal with genuine claims at attractive odds - certainly worth small stakes.

Lost - 3 pts

Friday, 2 November 2007

Lay Schalke 04 at 0.68/1 ( Betfair) to lose 3 pts v ENERGIE COTTBUS Bundesliga 1

Both teams are struggling to various degrees at the moment. Cottbus prop up the table , taking only 5pts from 11 games, and looking in trouble. The S04 lie in 5th place with 18 pts - but are disappointing their fans as much as tonights opponents in the sense that they've probably already blew their title hopes, trailing Bayern by 9pts. With expectations so high the pressure on Slomka is enormous at present, and his team are not attractive propositions away from home at restricted odds. Cottbus held out against some big teams at home last season and though they've only took 2pts from their 5 home games this term, they could come away with something against their vulnerable rivals tonight and are worth support on the Asians.

Cottbus 1 SO4 0 + 4.3 pts
3 pts win TSG HOFFENHEIM -1 Asian Handicap Evens ( Betfair) v St Pauli Bundesliga 2

Hoffenheim are making the most of the financial backing they've received and they are certainly not going to be one of those newly promoted teams who start well in their new sphere then gradually drop away.In fact, judged on some of their performances so far they could even get involved in the promotion chase. They play some attractive football, are fast on the counter, and fully deserved their point at Aachen after going 2-0 down. Tonight's opponents have lost their last four on the road and mere survival in this season will probably be a good result for them come the end of the season. Hoffenheim are a little restricted in price and it could be worth backing them to overcome a deficit on the Asians.

Hoffenheim 1 St Pauli 1 - 3 pts

3 pts win ALEMANNIA AACHEN 2.2/1 ( Betfair) v Erzgebirge Aue Bundesliga 2

Aue had a terrific home record in this division last season and have started the season Ok despite looking as though their home stadium is not going to be the fortress of last term. The 3-0 victory over Augsburg looks good on paper but in reality those opponents are struggling at the moment and seem a shadow of the team that almost got into the promotion race during the second half of last season. They entertain Aachen tonight and could struggle to maintain a team who will undoubtedly make a bold effort to return back to the top flight. Aachen threw away a 2-0 lead at home to Hoffenheim last time, but those opponents will take a few big scalps this season, and overall they've been performing well - though do need some improvement on their travels. Their current odds are tempting and they are worth backing for the outright victory here.

Aue 2 Aachen 1 - 3 pts

Thursday, 1 November 2007

3 pts win FC KOLN 11/8 ( William Hill and Betfair) v Osnabruck Bundesliga 2

There are two angles that can be taken into this. The first one is that despite their strength on paper, the FC rarely play two games alike, are not to be trusted, and fine it hard to be motivated unless competing against the big names. Furthermore, it is a minus that they'll be missing the experience of McKenna in the center of defence. The second angle in, and the one I'm choosing to side with is, that the FC have the player power to blow away the likes of tonights opponents. True, Osnabruck have performed with credit ( despite only being a couple of points from the relegation zone) since coming up from Regional North, but that can often be the case with newly promoted teams ( though no doubt Hoffenheim will be a genuine force in this division), and it's likely that Osnabruck will do well to avoid relegation. As said previously, if Cologne fail to gain promotion this season it's going to be failure in this sort match that will have let them down. At present they are a more reliable proposition on their travels, and Daum's men should be supported to come away with all the points in tonights encounter.

Osnabruck 2 FC Koln 1 - 3 pts