Groves v Eubank: Who Wins And How?

George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr has all the ingredients do some serious numbers on ITV Box Office.

You’ve got two fighters with huge profiles, in a domestic dust up, in a ‘pick’em’ fight – with a world title on the line.

To the victor goes the spoils, as well as another huge PPV purse against Callum Smith in the summer. That’s if the Liverpudlian gets past Juergen Braehmer, which of course he will, barring a robbery of Millennium Dome magnitude in Nuremberg.

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As mouthwatering as this match up is, and as healthy as the boxing scene seems to be in Britain right now, it feels as though fans are entering a new era. An era which expects us to stump up for around six or seven pay-per-view fights a year.

Long gone are the days when only the international superfights warranted that additional surcharge. The likes of Hagler v Hearns, Mayweather v Pacquaiao and Bellew v Cleverly II

But I’ll gladly part with £16.95 to watch this intriguing encounter. With Groves and Junior you’ve two fighters who can hardly be accused of lacking self-belief.

Both men are completely convinced they will have their arm raised on Saturday night with Eubank installed as a marginal favourite with the bookies

Groves is a promoter’s dream, rarely in a dull fight he possesses the firepower to end a fight with a single punch and yet the perception lingers that he has an air of vulnerability around his whiskers.

There have long been question marks over the Londoner’s stamina and given his opponent is one of the fittest fighters on the circuit many believe Eubank’s relentlessness will see him take over in the second half of the fight.

Eubank’s chin, although untested at top level, looks like it’s been carved from the same block of granite as his father. If he can’t be stopped will he keep coming until he eventually swarms all over his opponent?

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Groves, on the other hand, has fought at a higher level and at a heavier weight. He unquestionably carries the meatier dig of the two men.

You can see why this fight has split opinion down the middle.

Eubank Senior has added fuel to the fire with some ill-advised comments regarding the referee needing to protect his son’s opponents. It was inevitable that Senior would command centre stage at some point. Up until now his presence has been restricted to  posturing and preening at press conferences.

His instinct to polarise public opinion continues as does his long standing quest to integrate himself into the landed gentry. It is a mission matched only by his new-found desire to be known as ‘English,’ a nickname nobody addresses him by.

Given that Frank Warren constantly referred to him in the plural (Eubanks) it’s difficult to see his preferred new moniker gathering any traction.

For me, the key factor as to who wins this fight has been largely overlooked.

Groves is by far the better boxer, and in a boxing match this has to be considered a significant advantage. The Hammersmith man picked up two ABA titles in a distinguished amateur career, winning 66 of his 76 amateur fights.

In the pro ranks he boxed brilliantly – and with unwavering discipline – when outpointing James DeGale for the Commonwealth and British super-middleweight titles back in 2011. That’s James DeGale the Olympic gold medalist.

Chris Eubank Jr will come to realise, no matter how fast, how furiously or how frequently he hits static objects in the gym, landing a glove on Groves won’t be anywhere near as easy – and a whole lot more painful.

The first time Junior ran into a slick boxer, Billy Jo Saunders had the fight in the bag by the half-way point. Mind, to call BJS a slick boxer is to do him a major disservice. The WBO middleweight champion practically has a PHD in pugilism in comparison to Eubank – and it showed on the night. It’s a skill set that was earned and learned the hard way, fighting all round the world against the cream of the crop.

Groves has shown some vulnerability in the past, but the plain fact is he’s only been beaten by two men -and knocked out by one. Both Carl Froch and Badou Jack are bigger men and better boxers than Chris Eubank Jr.  The former is a multiple world champion, the latter a current two-weight kingpin.

There’s nothing in Eubank Jr’s resume to suggest he hits anywhere near as hard as those two guys. The Avni Yildrim stoppage was impressive, and has been replayed ad infinitum, largely because it’s the only piece of footage the WBS actually owns, and partly because it’s a rare one-punch put away from the Brighton brawler.

Yildrim is no George Groves. If the Londoner sticks to the plan, moves his feet, pumps out that spearing jab, capitalises on all the natural advantages he has in reach and size, then he wins comfortably.

An increasingly frustrated Eubank could even get caught walking on to a big right hand, the same one that scrambled the senses of Carl Froch in their first fight.

The logical call is Groves on points, by a handy margin but don’t rule out a KO.

On the spreads a buy of Groves at 17.5, with our preferred spread betting partner Spreadex is advised, The market makes up at 50 if Groves wins by KO, TKO or disqualification, 25 if he wins on points and 0 if he loses.

Only bet what you can afford.

West Ham look ripe for the picking…

WHERE is this weekend’s FA Cup upset going to come from?

Wigan look the prime candidates to pull off a shock when they welcome West Ham to the DW Stadium.

The Premier League outfit struggled to see off another League One team Shrewsbury in the last round, taking a replay and extra-time to eventually prevail whereas Wigan thrashed Bournemouth 3-0 in their replay.

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That was after the League One leaders were two goals to the good to away from home with only a stoppage-time equaliser sparing Bournemouth’s blushes in the first game.

Given that maintaining West Ham’s Premier League status is David Moyes priority it would be safe to assume his team will be heavily rotated, especially having lost key players Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic to injury last week.

The Latics are looking to reach round five for the first time since a semi-final penalty shoot-out exit to Arsenal four years ago, 12 months on from stunning Manchester City to win the competition.

The Hammers started a host of their second string in the Shrewsbury replay, giving the likes of Byram, Burke, Oxford, Cullen and Martinez a chance to impress.

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Moyes has no choice, with his heavily depleted squad, than to rotate even more this weekend in order to protect and  preserve their Premier League status.

A buoyant DW stadium and a confident Wigan are very well priced at 7-4 in the fixed odds betting and even more attractively on the spread betting market.

We suggest buying Wigan to win the match at 35.7 with our preferred spread betting partner, Spreadex. The market settles at 100 so a Wigan win would return a 64.3 point profit.

Remember to only bet what you can afford.

Grigor The Great

IT’S incredible to think Roger Federer won last year’s Australian Open after a six-month lay off. He was 20-1 at the start of the tournament, not that many were tempted by the price.

What’s even more shocking is seeing the 36 year-old Swiss maestro chalked up as the 15-8 favourite this year.

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It’s easy to say his chances have been boosted by withdrawals and injury concerns around the other top players, but that is to do the 19 -time Grand Slam winner an injustice.

By adding another two Slams to his collection last term he did more than surpass expectation, he defied logic. The Fed Express has reached an age where he should be slowly derailing. He should be playing exhibition matches, presenting awards or providing punditry, not dominating his younger rivals.

It’s not as if Federer was handed his success on a plate last season.

This year’s draw hasn’t been kind to Federer. He has a potential meeting with Milos Raonic early on and then his US Open conqueror Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarters. At 36, there’s no guarantee his body will hold up were he to be involved in a series of back-to-back gruelling, stamina-sapping five setters.

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It’d be madness to rule out Federer from winning again but there does seem to be value found elsewhere given there are so many doubts surrounding the fitness of the men who usually scoop the Slams.

Nadal has never won a grand slam without completing a pre-tournament event whilst Djokovic doesn’t even know himself if his arm will hold out. In any case, the Serb looks to have a desperately difficult draw with a possible quarter-final against Marin Cilic and maybe Fed in the semis.

I’m tempted to take a chance on 22 year-old Aussie bad boy Nick Krygios at a beefy price but I’m put off by an ongoing knee complaint (his not mine).

I think Krygios will reach the fourth round where he will be knocked out by the more reliable Grigor Dimitrov.

The Bulgarian world number three has won two of the three matches they’ve played even though Kyrgios has the more recent win in Brisbane last week.

Dimitrov could face either Jack Sock or Kyle Edmund in the quarters. If Nadal doesn’t make it to the semis then Dimitrov will be favourite to reach the final.

A buy of Dimitorv at 17.5 is advised with our preferred Spred Batteing company spreadex id advised. (Winner gets 60 points, runner up 40, losing semi finalist 20, losing QF 10, Round of 16, 5).

Remember, only bet what you can afford to lose.

The ‘Must Have’ Midweek Spread Bet

WHERE is the best midweek value bet in the Premier League I hear you ask…

It was a weekend which saw Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United drop points in the title race, a title race that saw Manchester City slip 11 points clear of the pack.

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Start engraving the trophy now. The rest of the ‘Big Six’ are fighting for a spot in the top four.

Chelsea (2-5), Spurs (1-4), Liverpool (2-9) and Man United (2-7) are all priced up at prohibitive odds as they take on Premier League fodder in Huddersfield, Brighton, West Brom and Bournemouth.

It’d be a shock if any of the above fail to win but I feel the best value of all the midweek matches may well lie with Arsenal, who are  very reasonably priced at 4-6 to beat West Ham in the fixed odds betting.

The Hammers have shown enormous improvement under David Moyes, notably their narrow defeat to Champions elect, City and a hard fought victory over Chelsea at the weekend.

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Arsenal were admittedly disappointing this weekend against Southampton, however against Man United the weekend before I thought they were sensational going forward, carving out an incredible 33 shots on goal. They may have lost 1-3, but for the brilliance of David De Gea and some terrible individual errors in their own backline, things could have turned out differently.

I feel the Gunners will soon put in the sort of performance on the road that they did at Goodison Park, where they put five past Everton.  West Ham could well  bear the brunt of the backlash for Arsenal’s disappointing performance against Southampton.

Given that the Gunners look far from secure at the back, the bet to exploit looks like the ‘over/under 2.5 goals market’.

Spreadex go 52.3-60 in this market. The market makes up at 100, meaning that if you buy at 60 you can make 40 times your stake. Conversely you can also lose 60 times your stake so make sure you only bet what you can afford.

I can see goals in this one, particularly if Arsenal score first as it will mean West Ham will be forced to commit players forward and leave themselves vulnerable to Arsenal’s quick-fire, precise passing counter attacks.

 

TOFFEES TO COME UNSTUCK

EVERTON’S 4-0 thrashing of West Ham has given new manager Sam Allardyce food for thought, which could be a problem for Sam, he’s getting more than enough food already.

Wayne Rooney may have stolen the headlines with a hat-trick and a quite exquisite goal from inside his own half but it’s worth bearing in mind he won’t be able to rely on the assists of Joe Hart every week.

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Hart’s career seems to be in steep decline (he’s at West Ham for goodness sake), at least he’s got those dandruff commercials to fall back on. The England stopper has been off form for at least two years – anyone remember Euro 2016?).

It’s shocking to recall the amount of stick Pep Guardiola copped from the British press for having the audacity to drop him. Who knows? Maybe, just maybe Pep, with his 22 trophies as a manager, knows a little bit more about football than the tabloid hacks of this country.

Everton were flattered somewhat by their 4-0 scoreline. West Ham were absolutely dreadful – and I speak as a long suffering West Ham fan. Even with their all-round ineptitude the Hammers did have a spell early in the second half where they threatened to overwhelm Everton. If Manuel Lanzini had converted his penalty to bring the score back to 2-1 perhaps things could have ended differently.

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My point is that Everton are still far away from being a good team and that one swallow doesn’t make a summer, it merely makes for a very good evening.

I feel there may well be some value in backing Huddersfield to get something from Goodison Park.

On the face of it, betting on a team who lost 5-0 last time against a team who won their last match 4-0 does not reek of logic. But then again the whims and ways of Premier League football make little sense most of the time.

I recommend a sell of Everton’s goal supremacy at 0.7 with our preferred spread betting company Spreadex.

Make sure you only bet what you can afford.

Hazlewood to take the wickets

THE fact that Ben Stokes isn’t in Australia could have a massive bearing on the destination of the little urn. The red-headed all-rounder is a brilliant batsman, fielder and a more than useful bowler.

He is expected to fly out at some point but will the series be effectively over by the time he pitches up?

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The first Test will be crucial and, unsurprisingly, the hosts have a fine record at The Gabba.

In fact, they haven’t lost in Brisbane since the 1980s, with 13 wins and two draws in the last 15 matches. There’s a reason why the Aussies have picked this venue for the first Test – it’s because they expect to win here.

But all does not seem well in the Aussie camp. The selectors have copped flak for picking Shaun Marsh and wicket keeper Tim Paine, who couldn’t even get in the Tasmania side earlier in the season.

Australia do have two world class batsmen in David Warner and skipper Steve Smith but you can counter that with England’s proven pair in Alastair Cook and Joe Root.

With draws being less common in Test cricket these days it seems as though one team will be one to the good at the end of the first five days.

The difference between the two teams in the series could be bowler Josh Hazlewood, whose accuracy has drawn comparisons with Aussie legend Glenn McGrath.

Nathan Lyon explained why Hazelwood is Australia’s best bowler:

“He can swing the new ball in and out, he can seam it, he can bowl fast, he can bowl a nice bouncer, he can reverse an old ball,” said Lyon. “His consistency, the pace he bowls at and the way he controls the game is incredible. In my book he’s the No1 bowler in the world.”

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Pat Cummins is injury prone whilst Mitchell Starc, probably the quickest of the trio, can be wayward.

Over the course of the five Tests we expect Hazlewood to take the most wickets for his country.

We suggest buying Hazlewood’s series bowling performance at 265 with our preferred spread betting firm, Spreadex. .That’s 10 points per wicket taken plus 25 points for a five-wicket haul in an innings.

There would seem to be little downside to this bet and if Australia’s best bowler lives up to his tag it should prove to be a very profitable trade.

As always, only bet what you can afford.

Good luck!

Late goals for Jose…

 

THE rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez has been thoroughly amusing to watch over the years.

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Rafa Benitez raised eyebrows when he decided to take a coaching role at the Toon with offers from the likes of Inter Milan and the people at Go Compare on the table.
Rafa would love to frustrate Jose on Saturday evening but even a miracle worker would have trouble organising Newcastle to leave the Theatre Of Dreams with anything other than a mild spanking.
Man United have lost two of their last six games and only scored seven times in those matches. The loss to Chelsea was one thing but the defeat to Huddersfield was, simply, embarrassing for a club that has such an expensively assembled squad.
The question: ‘Is it really worth backing the Red Devils at short odds to see off a defensively-minded Newcastle?’
The Old Trafford outfit have struggled to cope with the loss of Paul Pogba but the signs suggest they are beginning to return to their early-season form.

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Anthony Martial put in a sparkling display for France whilst Romelu Lukaku scored a couple of goals for Belgium to elevate him to their leading goalscorer, all at the tender age of just 24.
The likes of Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia enjoyed a rest and should be fresh to face a Newcastle team who don’t score many goals and should come to defend.
The Toon’s top scorer is Joselu with just two goals to his name. Having watched him play on a regular basis it’s amazing he has as many as that.
Three of Newcastle’s four victories have been by a single goal, while only one of their five defeats was by a margin of more than one. But If United strike in the first half, as expected, then I think this could be a heavy defeat for the Magpies, who will have to come out and play a more expansive game.

I can see Newcastle being hit with late goals, the hallmark of Man United’s early season efforts. United have more than enough  pace and creation in the form Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku to smash through Newcastle’s defences and when they do – they’ll go for blood.
We will be buying goal minutes at 145 with Spreadex, our preferred spread betting firm.
This means aggregate minutes of the match are added up. So if goals are scored in the 45th, 73rd and 78th minutes the market settles at 156.