Weblog: The football punter

It's crystal clear to me where the value bet is

HE’S the top scorer in Spain, he’s the top scorer in the Champions League, he’s the holder of the Ballon D’Or and he’s got a waxwork model at Madame Tussauds.

I’ve even heard it said he’s better than Ricky van Wolfswinkel, though clearly that’s a debate to be had long into the night.

Regardless, what is true is that Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be lining up for Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey final on Wednesday against Barcelona, the 633rd time these two have met in the past three years.

I love the stat that Real are slightly better when Ronaldo doesn’t play than when he does, and that should inch me towards wanting a punt on Barca.

But then word from the Nou Camp is that Barcelona might have to go with a central defensive duo of Javier Mascherano and Alex Song, which has immediately got me leaning the other way.

Can’t make my mind up, so I’ll stick to a lay of Everton at home to Crystal Palace instead.

I know it’s unfashionable to question Roberto Martinez – indeed it’s almost illegal to dare suggest Ross Barkley doesn’t go to the World Cup – but I’m sure the Toffees would far rather be playing Arsenal than Palace.

Tony Pulis’s men are a miserly mob, who may not be able to score many goals but they hardly look like conceding either.

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Match in Focus

19:30 Th 17Apr BT2

E Frankfurt v Hannover

Home Win Draw Away Win
Expert verdict
Hannover probably need another couple of points before they are safe from the threat of relegation but the Bundesliga strugglers could be left feeling nervous after this trip to Frankfurt. Eintracht have won five of their last seven Bundesliga matches at home which compares favourably to Hannover’s dismal road record.