On the Rizk Radar: David vs Goliath!
We’re going to level with you, we don’t actually have any specials on David vs Goliath for this week’s On the Rizk Radar, that bet was settled some time ago and you’ll be hard-pressed to find another bookie willing to price that up again.
There is, however, the potential for a few giant-killings in the form of the FA Cup, along with action from Europe’s top league’s, and for good measure, we’ve slung a few Odds Boosts in there too!
Arsenal – Manchester United
Manchester United’s seven-game winning streak is set to come under some serious fire this weekend as the Gunnar from Norway goes up against the Gunners from London.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s unbelievable transformation of the United squad did have a particular ‘Honeymoon’ feel about it, that was, of course, until they went to Wembley and beat Tottenham in a very disciplined and convincing display.
Unai Emery’s charges are coming off the back of a brilliant performance against Chelsea, though, and, as the competitions most successful club, will be all guns blazing for the Friday night affair at the Emirates.
We can’t split these two, so, a draw and under 2.5 goals in 90 Minutes gets a boost.
was 4.90 – NOW 5.50
Crystal Palace – Tottenham
How shambolic is Tottenham’s season becoming? No signing’s in the summer! No more additions in January, a multi-million-pound stadium that they can’t play at, and an injury list that would rival any accident and emergency ward on a Friday night after a payday.
Palace, on the other hand, are playing well despite recent results going against them. They took Liverpool to the brink last week in a 4-3 defeat, and have wins against a very good Wolves side along with that shock win at the Etihad over Christmas.
Spurs are without Alli, Kane, Son, Lucas Moura, Wanyama, and Sissoko. To stretch their thread-bear squad any further with a run in the FA Cup would surely mean curtains for Pochettino’s top-four hopes.
Boosted Odds on Palace to win and over 2.5 goals get the nod.
was 4.25 – NOW 4.75
Middlesbrough – Newport County
Middlesbrough eased into the fourth round of the FA Cup following a 5-0 demolition job on League One side, Peterborough United. So why the hoo-haa about a home tie against a League Two side?
Newport County aren’t exactly setting England’s fourth tier alight, but they did beat Leicester City in the third round and get through a difficult tie at the weekend with a 1-0 win over Exeter City.
It’s why we love the FA Cup, the slaying of giants, the dream of an away day trip to Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge, and the cash injection that can make or break clubs playing in the lower echelons of the football league.
The Odds don’t exactly point towards a Newport win, but this is Rizk, and we like a good underdog story!
was 4.75 – NOW 5.50
Swansea – Gillingham
This match-up has less of a fairytale feel to it than the meeting between the aforementioned Boro and Newport.
The Swans dispatched of a lacklustre Aston Villa in the last round and have strung together a mini win streak in the Championship of late.
Gillingham, for all their efforts in the third round – A 1-0 win at home to a disinterested Cardiff City – are struggling at the foot of League One and were hammered at the weekend 3-0 at home to Walsall.
There’s a bit of home banker feel to this fixture and backing simply the 1X2 won’t really get you much bang for your buck. This Boost may help!
was 3.75 – NOW 4.25
Lazio – Juventus
The Stadio Olimpico is the venue for Serie A’s showpiece this weekend. The Old lady go into this fixture with a significantly weakened squad – Cuadrado, Barzagli, Mandzukic, and Benatia all out through injury – which could give the home-side some encouragement.
Lazio’s last league defeat at home came at the back-end of October when Inter ran out 3-0 winners.
Juventus have been keeping it pretty tight at the back, though, and with under 2.5 goals scored in the last two meetings between these two, a low scoring affair looks ominous.
was 4.00 – NOW 4.50
Girona – Barcelona
There was a slim chance that this fixture could have taken place in Miami in an attempt to bring La Liga to one of the biggest sporting markets that is the U.S.
Thankfully, the Spanish governing bodies of football, after carefully considering all possibilities, decided it was best to keep the fixture in Spain (It’s not like the RSFF to make a hasty decision at the drop of a hat, wink wink).
Girona were played off the park when these two last met at the Estadi Municipal de Montilivi and were beaten in the dying seconds last week away to Betis. A second-half cameo from Messi, combined with some lovely link-up play with Jordi Alba, saw off Leganes last week by three goals to one. Don’t be surprised to see a similar scoreline once again.
was 2.70 – NOW 3.00
NHL All-Star Game
For those of you that don’t follow Ice Hockey that much, shame on you! Your nine-year-old knuckle-puck practising, Triple Deke donning young self would be disappointed. For those that do, back us up here, the NHL All-Star Game is the equivalent of having Messi, Ronaldo, Hazard, and the rest of football’s headline acts, in their prime, all under one roof.
You won’t see any flying v’s at this event, nor will you be privy to one of Emilio’s heartwarming motivational speeches. You will, however, see the very best of the best representing one of four divisional teams based on the parent club of whichever team said player plies their trade.
This four-team tournament consists of two semi-finals (Pacific vs Central & Atlantic vs Metropolitan) and a final for the two winning teams.