Brighton certainly went down fighting last weekend when only a late winner from Theo Walcott denied them a replay in a cracking FA Cup tie with Arsenal.
The Gunners’ class eventually prevailed but the Seagulls lost nothing in defeat and certainly mixed it with a side, lest we forget, still in the last 16 of the Champions League.
New Argentine striker Leonardo Ulloa impressed on debut and also netted and this result could prove a blessing in disguise with Albion now fully able to concentrate on making the play-offs. The Seagulls remain just outside the top six, although they are currently five points behind sixth-placed Middlesbrough. Albion remain 5/2 to make the top six and 9/1 to gain promotion at BetVictor.
It was a bonus for Brighton fans to see Watford suffer a surprise 2-0 defeat at struggling Bristol City on Tuesday. The Hornets are the current form team in the Championship and a team Albion are trying to catch; the gap stays at only seven points with the Londoners having played a game more.
Albion face a potential banana skin clash when they visit relegation-threatened Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend. The Owls are only four points above the drop zone and, with Barnsley also winning during the week, there are now a growing number of clubs having been drawn into a potential dogfight.
Wednesday snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at Charlton last weekend but they were fortunate and this is a game the Seagulls must get something from. BetVictor slightly favour Brighton but only at 8/5 with the hosts 15/8 and another stalemate 12/5.
Next manager markets are full of surprises but when Gus Poyet was backed from 33s to 3/1 on Wednesday afternoon to be the next manager of Chelsea, I had to do a double-take but that is the case! Indeed 3/1 is the biggest price on this market with other firms into 11/10. Poyet has done a good job at the Amex but I would be very surprised if Roman Abramovich turned his attentions to the south coast. Full market at: www.betvictor.com
Whichever team you support, transfer Deadline Day (Thursday, January 31) is now compulsive viewing, with every single football fan up and down the land waiting for the arrival of Sky’s brilliant anchor Jim White and those final few hours of hectic wheeling and dealing.
This year, Jim will be joined in the studio by Natalie Sawyer from 8pm for the final countdown (window closes at 11pm) but which of his now famous White-isms will he utter first after his broadcast begins?
We have opened a market at BetVictor and make “the clock is ticking” and a “Sky Sports (News) exclusive” joint favourites at 7/2 with “we start with breaking news” at 4s and “we can now reveal” and “put pen to paper” at 5s. My own personal favourite is “hold on to your hats” at 40/1 although “twitter is in meltdown” at 20s also looks overpriced.
The Six Nations starts on Saturday and we make England 15/8 favourites after their demolition of the All Blacks back in the autumn especially as France (9/4) must travel to Twickenham and the Aviva Stadium this year. We will be betting on both Nations to score a try in each international during this year’s tournament and the bet is already becoming very popular with new and existing clients.
Six Nations 2013; outright prices from BetVictor: England 15/8; France 9/4; Ireland 7/2; Wales 9/2; Scotland 28/1; Italy 250/1.
England entertain Scotland in the Calcutta Cup and are 10/11 giving the Scots (-16) a 16 point start on the handicap with the draw 33/1. The feature game in week one sees Wales (8/11) entertain Ireland (11/10) at the Millennium Stadium with the draw 20/1 and France (10/11) are 12 point favourites in Italy with the draw at 16s.
For all your weekend odds, check out betvictor.com