THE Tenner Bet has not had actual confirmation that Davie Martindale pinned last Saturday's column to the McDiarmid Park dressing room door before sending his hitherto hapless players out to chin St Johnstone 3-0, but what other explanation can there be?

Let's consider the facts: Livingston had scored the fewest goals in the division, won the joint-fewest games, not registered a goal in five successive away games nor recorded an away victory going back to July 10 so there must have been some form of external assistance, right?

Frankly, there are times when you know your bet is gubbed before it's even got going and it usually coincides with Sky's Jeff Stelling uttering words along the lines of “Odin Bailey has given Livingston the lead at St Johnstone after just three minutes”. The sinking feeling arrived quicker than usual last week when Bruce Anderson added a second. Yes, the same Bruce Anderson who had managed six top-flight goals across 48 previous games prior to his strike in Perth.

There was a similar story of woe at Carrow Road where Brighton stumbled to a draw against Norwich – stumbled being the operative word since Graham Potter's side were denied a penalty when Brighton striker Neil Maupay went down under a challenge from Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul which was described thus by the respective clubs' Twitter feeds. Norwich: “Brighton ask for a penalty after Maupay goes down in the area, but VAR confirms there was no contact.”

Brighton: “There looked to be contact with Tim Krul, but after a VAR check nothing's given.”

Somewhat hilariously Norwich City TV didn't even bother to show a replay of the incident which fell into the 'I've seen them given, Jeff' category, though probably would have been harsh on Daniel Farke's side.

What is certainly a tough break for the German is the next task in his calendar. Having recorded back-to-back draws in the league they now face a trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea. Last time we weighed in behind the London club, we were undone by a James Ward-Prowse penalty that would have brought up another small-priced winner. The Tenner Bet deliberated over whether to opt for Chelsea to win on the handicap and instead chose a 'win to nil' selection. This time we'll revert to the initial plan despite two clean sheets in a row for Norwich. There is a caveat: Chelsea have a striker crisis with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner injured and there is no obvious back-up. Nevertheless, they still stuck four past Malmo in midweek and Norwich have scored just twice all season.

It's a bet that would have paid out in 50% of Norwich's away games thus far and in 75% of Chelsea's Premier League home fixtures. At 8/13, it feels like a solid shout if not great value. Elsewhere, there are yet more safe-looking selections with Hearts at home to Dundee and Sunderland hosting struggling Charlton.

Robbie Neilson's side have a point to prove against today's visitors what with Dundee being the club that provided the decisive vote to relegate them at the conclusion of the Covid-affected 2019-2020 campaign – expect them to come flying out of the traps at a raucous Tynecastle. Meanwhile, a former Hearts player, Lee Johnson has given an indication that he might finally be the man to return Sunderland to the Championship with a storming start to the season. They are the form team in the division with four wins and a defeat in their last six – and seven victories in a row at home - while their visitors to the Stadium of Light have lost four out of six on their travels.

Selection: Chelsea -1 (8/13), Hearts (8/15), Sunderland (9/13)

Treble pays: 3.19/1

Season's total: -£30