Weblog: The football punter

Expect hardcore action on red-hot Monday

ROCHDALE boss Keith Hill is something of a lower-league legend and he will surely love his moment in the spotlight when the Spotland side welcome Premier League side Stoke to their unglamorous League One surroundings.

Hill loves a sound bite with none better than this gem in 2007 after a defeat to Stockport: "You can compare us at the moment to a bit of soft porn - there is an awful lot of foreplay and not a lot going on in the box."
There's a lot more going on in the box these days with Matty Done scoring loads of goals this season. Not bad for a midfielder who Hill turned into a forward when the club was struggling earlier in the campaign.

Rochdale have already caused one upset with a win over Nottingham Forest in round three and some of the pampered Premier League players may not enjoy a trip to Spotland but Stoke are not exactly a side full of fancy Dans.

Okay they've got fancy Bojan - and Rochdale is along way from Barcelona - but Stoke also have players in their squad who will happily grind it out so the Bunter pounds will be on a narrow 1-0 win.

There's also a good bet to be had in Italy where Napoli have the potential to run riot against Genoa with the favourites worth backing to be leading at half-time and full-time.

If watching Rochdale is like soft porn the hardcore stuff can be found in Serie A.

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Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY SS1

Chelsea v Liverpool

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Liverpool have scored in all of their last five matches at Stamford Bridge
Expert verdict
Liverpool were the better side in the 1-1 first-leg draw against Chelsea with Raheem Sterling the chief tormentor and he seems to have benefitted greatly from his winter break. The 20-year-old looks a possible match winner and is worth an interest to score the first goal with Chelsea lacking slightly in confidence at moment.