JD's Betting Blog: Backing Lionel Messi for Ballon d'Or glory and weekend tips

JD believes the Barcelona frontman will win the fourth consecutive prestigious prize and is tipping Manchester United to find the net in both halves against Arsenal on Saturday
It has been a wonderful week in football especially in the Capital One Cup in England. Arsenal miraculously came back from the dead after being 4-0 down to beat Reading 7-5.

Chelsea and Manchester United also played out a game which provided just as much entertainment and it ended in a 5-4 victory for Roberto Di Matteo's men.

It is a competition that we must be very careful with from a betting perspective. Many managers play weakened teams in it as they have other priorities but it certainly does not dilute the entertainment and amount of goals. 

Focus on teams to score in it and you stand a much greater chance of making a profit as opposed to predicting the outright result of matches.   

For example, my only involvement in the competition this week was Chelsea, Manchester United and Norwich City all simply to find the net in a team goals combination with Bet365 at best price 11/10.

Norwich City left it late but the selection landed safely in the end. Chelsea are now 6/4 (2.50) favourites to win the competition. I think they are too short in the market at this stage and we have to be mindful that they are unlikely to play their full strength team so I would look for better value elsewhere.

The Ballon d'Or nominees were announced this week and it will be a surprise if Lionel Messi does not win the award.

He has thrilled the whole world last season again with his performances with Barcelona and his improved displays with Argentina should ensure that he wins this award again. He is 4/6 (1.67) with Bet365 to win it with Cristiano Ronaldo at 4/1 (5.0) and Andres Iniesta at 7/1 (8.0).

Looking ahead to the weekend, expect Manchester United to come flying out of the traps at home to Arsenal. Sir Alex Ferguson will not tolerate the slow start which cost them against Tottenham Hotspur.

The hosts have been full of goals this season and I expect that to continue on Saturday. Backing them to score in both halves pays 6/5 (2.20) with Bet365.

In Spain, it is hard not to be impressed with the body of work Diego Simeone has done at Atletico Madrid. The Europa League winners are level on points with Barcelona and they have been a model of consistency so far this season.

They travel to Valencia and should be backed at evens (2.0) on a "draw no bet" basis, which will see your stake returned if the game ends level.

Selection One
Selection Two
Manchester United to score in both halves at 6/5 (2.20) with Bet365
Atletico Madrid to win (Draw No Bet) at Evens (2.0) with Bet365

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