Okay, so we hope you weren't too much attention last weekend because it wasn't our most inspiring work. We were whitewashed. Embarrassed. But a wise man once said "a true champion is not only formed in victory. To be defeated makes you learn." We're firm believers in the aforementioned quote in the Balls office, so we look towards this weekends Premier League fixtures with some sure fire ways to get money in your pocket.
The Balls.ie Football Show Ladbrokes Bet Of The Week:
Swansea are 12/1 to beat Liverpool at Anfield this Saturday afternoon, which speaks volumes. With just one win in their past seven games, it is unlikely that Paul Clement's sides fortune will change against a Reds team with one eye firmly fixated on the title.
It took a late James Milner penalty to separate the teams when they met earlier in the season, as Liverpool secured a 2-1 win. However, Jurgen Klopp is without their top scorer Sadio Mané as the Senegalese forward is at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. With that factored in, it is expected that Divock Origi will have more freedom and should space against a Swansea team which have conceded 49 league goals to date - the most of any club.
Only Sunderland (741 minutes) have been behind longer than Swansea (731) in the Premier League this season - all the while Liverpool have trailed for just 180 minutes. It makes for bleak reading for Swans supporters.
Okay, so we're covering ourselves with this one. Ladbrokes are offering a Spurs to comeback and win at 12/1 and to draw at 6/1 but the selected bet offers some security.
Tottenham have only tasted defeat on two occasions this season, both on the road. Yet they responded to the loss at Old Trafford in December with seven successive victories in all competitions. The north Londoners look the most likely team to topple Chelsea at the summit of the Premier League. Yet, it looks increasingly likely that Erik Lamela will miss the game through injury. Yet, Mauricio Pochettino has strength in depth.
However, Pep Guardiola is struggling to adapt to life in Manchester. To date, he has suffered defeat on five occasions in the Premier League. More than he has ever lost in a single season in the past. Following the humiliating defeat at Goodison Park last weekend, the Citizens will attempt to get back to winning ways against the most in-form team in the top flight.
Expect City to make a bright start but the resilience of Spurs to reign supreme as they secure a comeback in the north-west.
Not much separates Southampton and Leicester as they lie 13th and 15th respectively. While their form table is identical with two wins, two losses and one draw in their past five games. Southampton haven't exactly set the world alight with lowest shot conversation rate (6.1%) and scored just 19 goals this season - only Middlesbrough have scored less (17).
Yet, they face a Leicester side without Riyad Mahrez, Daniel Amartey and Islam Slimani due to their participation in the African Cup of Nations. It certainly does not fill Foxes supporters with confidence as they are they have the lowest points margin (21) for reigning top-flight champions since Ipswich in 1962/63.
Don't expect a classic at St.Mary's on Sunday afternoon but an unimpressive 2-1 Southampton win seems increasingly likely as kick-off approaches.
Naturally, Arsenal will fancy their chances on Sunday afternoon giving the fact that they are undefeated in their past five games in all competitions. In that time they have scored 12 and conceded five. Make of that what you will but evidently Gunners supporters have grown accustomed to seeing goals - be it in their own net or the oppositions. Currently, they sit just where they should finish - fourth.
Burnley are on the other hand look comfortable as a mid-table team as they are just two points behind West Brom in eight place. However, they can't unfortuantely play Sunderland every week, having secured two wins and a draw against the Wearsiders since New Years Eve. The Clarets are a solid Premier League team and will be hard to break down on the day but Arsenal (and Giroud's) firepower will prove too much. Expect the Londoners to extend their winning run over Burnley to five games in a row - dating back to November 2014.
Given that Bournemouth have shipped nine goals in their past three games, it may seem like a bold shout to include them in a treble but they come up against a Watford side which are woeful on the road - having lost all six of their games away from Vicarage Road. Bournemouth open as favourites for the game and should have enough about them to end a dismal run of form.
West Ham travel to the north-east aiming to win two successive games, following their convincing 3-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend. Andy Carroll will aim to be fit come kick-off on Saturday afternoon after straining his neck, while Dmitri Payet will not feature in the matchday squad as expected.
The Hammers have only secured victory on one occasion out of their past 11 visits to the Riverside (D2 L8) but their fortune should change against Aitor Karanka's team - who themselves are three games unbeaten in all competitions.
Chelsea are going to beat Hull, with or without Diego Costa. Despite the slip-up against Tottenham, Chelsea have been in inspired form. They recovered from that defeat at White Hart Lane by scoring a combined seven goals against Peterborough and Leicester City. Hull have failed to take a point away from Chelsea since gaining promotion in 2013.
Don't expect this to be the weekend that the chasing pack of Spurs and Liverpool gain ground on the 2014/15 champions.