Local betting expert Joe Whitaker casts his eye the sporting action as the Championship gets under way, plus racing at Glorious Goodwood.
The football season is back with a bang this weekend, hurrah say the punters and bookies alike.
Preston start the 2019/20 campaign down in South East London at Millwall, a fixture they easily won 3-1 back in February.
They got off to a good start that day and obviously Alex Neil will be hoping for the same again. Millwall have been active enough in the transfer market though this summer, the signing of Matt Smith and Connor Mahoney looking like solid business.
It is always very hard to make any bold predictions for the first few fixtures of any season, though I must admit I think Millwall will be a stronger proposition than they were in February.
Their crowd will be bang up for this and it will need a good performance for North End to collect all three again.
The betting man inside me would side with a draw at 2/1 though I’m going to back Preston to pinch a 1-0 win late on. PNE can be backed at 9/4 for the win, 7/1 to win 1-0 and set-piece specialist Paul Gallagher looks like some value at 12/1 to score first.
Blackburn start the new season at home, with a fresh dollop of optimism around the club. Tony Mowbray has been backed with the signing of Sam Gallagher looking like a big statement. I fancy them to get a home win this weekend and at 4/5 they look like a good solid home tick on the coupon against a Charlton side who may take time to find their feet up.
Looking at the rest of the fixtures in the Championship, I was surprised to see Fulham as big as 5/4 away at Barnsley. Considering the players they still have at their disposal, I would have expected Scott Parker’s men to be odds against.
Top notch racing continues at Goodwood on Saturday and the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes sees fillies slug it out over 1m6f. Ralph Beckett’s Manuela De Vega has been an expensive filly to follow this season and has struggled to live up to expectations after her unbeaten two year old campaign. I think Goodwood could suit her down to the ground though and this is easier than the Classic company she has been against this season. At 4/1 she looks like a good bet.
The Stewards Cup is definitely one for the bookies, being a big open cavalry charge over 6furlongs. The booking of Ryan Moore on Summerghand catches the eye and I can see the David O’Meara gelding going close. At 14/1 make sure you back each way.