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The Tenner Bet

Panto season came early to the Champions League.

Witness Wednesday's Group B match between Galatasaray and Juventus, where Paul Pogba's "it's-behind-you" attempts to recover the ball during one passage of play in the second half caused much mirth in the Tenner Bet household. There was a snowstorm and a pantomime villain too, with Gala's Didier Drogba reprising his role from Jose Mourinho's production of Wuss In Boots. The Ivorian kicked balls away in order to waste time, pushed defenders and generally did what Drogba does - all with the faux innocence of a recalcitrant schoolboy.

It was a cheering performance, not least because the fact that this was a rearranged match due to the aforementioned snowfall and was being played on the Wednesday afternoon meant that I was counting the profits from another free bet via Bet Bright (this one for £25 involved a bit of identity theft which still requires me to dress as Mrs Tenner Bet until the money clears in her account), the bookies having paid out on two teams in a both teams to score treble from the previous evening.

A momentum shift? Well, us gamblers will always look for some tiny little sign as evidence that the losing run is coming to an end - not least because it is proof that the time spent picking out a bet is not wasted.

THE TEAMS

There is value to be had in two away games that seem to have flown under the bookies' radar this weekend. First up is Derby County who have been resurgent since Steve McClaren was appointed manager in September. No matter what you think of the mono-lingual McClaren, the former England manager gets teams playing and his pedigree in Dutch football has been chronically ignored in his homeland.

His side have won three of their last four and have failed to score in just one of their 11 games this season. Contrast that with Charlton's poor form at The Valley, where they have recorded maximum points in just two games. The one caveat is that these two have drawn in their last two meetings. Derby, though, are a different proposition now.

The other fixture that raises eyebrows given the price on offer involves Gillingham and Peterborough. Yes, Peterborough have lost their last three on their travels but Gillingham have poor home form. And yes, Peterborough have lost five of their last six in the league but they have since defeated the leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 and had another morale-boosting 5-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers in last weekend's FA Cup second round. Finally, Aberdeen at home to St Mirren today brings back painful memories of a treble that was undone by the Pittodrie side's 1-1 draw in Paisley back in September. Recalling that Monday evening's shambles is not enough to put me off taking Derek McInnes' side to continue their good form with three points.

THE BET

The Derby/Peterborough/Aberdeen treble is an intriguingly priced 6.68/1 with Oddschecker.com. Meanwhile, if you fancy Tottenham to beat Liverpool and are not already a customer with Paddy Power it is 5/1 for new accounts.

SEASON'S TOTAL

Bayern may have knocked in seven but Eintracht Frankfurt's defeat by Hoffenheim meant last weekend's risk-free gamble didn't pay off with Bet Bright but the one saving grace is that it did not have a negative impact on the overall total of -£74.70.

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Football

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