Week in Sport Betting Preview 10 February : England in South Africa, Liverpool and Norwich, Premier League Darts
- 10-16 February
- Live on BT Sport, Sky Sports and Eurosport
England’s lengthy tour of South Africa continues, the Premier League edges through the winter break and there is Premier League Darts and Welsh Open snooker action to enjoy this week.
South Africa vs England First T20 - Wednesday 12 February
England move into the T20 portion of their South African tour after scraping a draw in the ODI series at the weekend. A win in the Test series and draw in the 50-over contests is a good return so far for the tourists, but they have certainly struggled in the first matches of those series, losing both comfortably.
It has been a problem for England on foreign tours, having also been walloped in the first Test of the New Zealand tour at the end of 2019 as well. Eoin Morgan’s side are favourites for this clash in East London, but the home side are well worth backing.
The Proteas have won four and drawn one of their last five T20 series, beating Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in that time, while the draw was a very creditable one in India. England have never won a T20 series in South Africa, and the home side look good value to get this series off to a winning start on Wednesday.
Premier League Darts – Thursday 13 February
There are some tasty contests in Premier League Darts this week and Fallon Sherrock will be garnering most of the headlines as she arrived in Nottingham as a Challenger against Glen Durrant. However, the best value appears to be in the game between Nathan Aspinall and Rob Cross.
Aspinall is competing as a full-time Premier League player for the first time this season and got his campaign off to a solid start by downing John Henderson last week in Aberdeen. Even more impressive, though, was him storming to success in a ProTour event on Sunday.
The Asp comfortably beat Gerwyn Price 8-3 in the final, whitewashed Gabriel Clemens 7-0 in the semis and averaged a ridiculous 117.5 in the quarters against Peter Wright.
The UK Open champion was in scintillating form and if he can keep that up on Thursday then he will have too much for Cross. Voltage can be classed as solid but unspectacular at the moment, as he was last week in his draw with Price, Aspinall has the higher ceiling at the moment.
Wolves vs Leicester – Friday 14 February
Two of the most impressive sides in the Premier League this season, but neither have been in great form in recent weeks, with both Leicester and Wolves losing two of their last five games.
Both teams drew their last games, with Chelsea held to a 2-2 draw by Chelsea and Wolves ending goalless against Manchester United, while their previous meeting this season ended level.
Things are pointing to another share of the points at Molineux on Friday night, especially as Wolves have been held to a draw five times at home this season, only Brighton have more home draws.
The Foxes are a very good away side, winning seven matches on their travels this campaign, but they are not firing on all cylinders, with Jamie Vardy struggling for his best form, which harms their counter-attacking ability.
All signs point to Wolves and Leicester sharing the spoils this Friday night.
Norwich vs Liverpool – Saturday 15 February
Bottom of the Premier League table hosts the best side in the division on Saturday and not many onlookers are giving Norwich much of a chance against Liverpool.
Considering the Reds have racked up 73 points from 25 games and the Canaries have just 18, there is clearly a cavernous gap between the sides.
Norwich were given some credit for their performance at Anfield on the opening night of the season, as they trouble their hosts, but they still came away with a 4-1 defeat from Merseyside.
Similar is likely to happen at Carrow Road, Daniel Farke's side do give it a go and attack superior opposition, but they leave gaps and Liverpool will be very happy to exploit them.
Jurgen Klopp's side have had an extremely busy season but are coming off the much-needed winter break and will be well-rested.
Looking to get back into the swing of things ahead of their Champions League knockout stage campaign, they will give Norwich a seeing to, a side with the joint worst defence in the division.
Welsh Open Snooker – 10-16 February
The hectic snooker schedule continues as all the big names head to Cardiff this week for the Welsh Open. Neil Robertson is coming off a World Grand Prix win on Sunday night, which was his third ranking final in as many weeks, so he is clearly the form player in Wales. However, you just can’t keep up those level of performances and he admitted he was shattered by the end of his triumph in Cheltenham.
Judd Trump is the favourite going into the event, but the world number one does not have the greatest record in this event, not winning it in 11 attempts. He reached the final in 2017, but has otherwise not been past the fourth round in his last six attempts.
In contrast, a man with a cracking record at the Welsh Open is Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has won the event four times and twice in the last six years. The Rocket has not been in the best form this season, only winning the Shanghai Masters in September and without a ranking title to his name yet. However, it is very difficult to see him going the whole season without one and Cardiff looks like a likely to time to get over the line for the first time this campaign.
The Home Nations events are perilous for top players because the first four rounds are played over the best of seven frames, but the Rocket really has no one who can bother him in the first two rounds, so should be ready and playing well in the last 32 and last 16 against more accomplished players.
Past that he is into the longer format and more in his element.
O'Sullivan actually needs to start picking up results if he wants to play in the Players Championship at the end of this month and the Tour Championship in March as those qualifiers are done on the one-year ranking list, and he is currently outside of the top 16 to make the Players.
A win in Cardiff would put him in a much better position and secure his spot in Southport so, for once, he is absolutely not short of motivation.
- South Africa have not lost a T20 series since 2018
- England have never won a T20 series in South Africa
- Nathan Aspinall registered the highest average of the year so far on Sunday – 117.5
- Rob Cross did not make it past the last 16 of either ProTour events at the weekend
- The last eight meetings between Wolves and Leicester have either been draws or decided by one goal
- Wolves have five home draws this season, only Brighton have more
- Liverpool have the best away record in the Premier League winning 11 and drawing one of their 12 matches
- Norwich have conceded 25 goals in their 12 home matches this season
- Ronnie O’Sullivan has won the Welsh Open four times, only John Higgins has more
- Judd Trump has never won the Welsh Open in 11 attempts