LET me begin by saying I hope you all had a nice, calm, relaxing Christmas and wish you all a happy and healthy 2021.
In reality, that’s where our priorities should lie and hopefully we can begin the new year with some winning tips too!
Last week we forecast goals in the Leicester City v Manchester United game (2-2) so I hope you had a winning bet on it. Due to postponements, our Saturday Quad became a winning double as both Aston Villa and Carlisle United won… if you did your bet online with some bookies. 
Now this raises an interesting discussion. Carlisle were 3-0 up against Bolton Wanderers but the game actually ended up all square at 3-3!
However, bookies such as Bet365 (if there are any corporate members reading this, what do I get for this blatant plug?) will pay you out if your team takes a two-goal lead! Isn’t it time our local bookies matched it for their regular punters?
On the subject of bookies, reader Oliver McKeown has a complaint - he did a lucky 15 dip and 50p quad at Wolverhampton on the Saturday before Christmas.
His first three won, and the last was a non-runner. He had written ‘non-runner favourite’ on the docket - meaning that if there was a non-runner, he wanted to back the favourite, which won at 9/4. But when Oliver got a taxi to pick up his big winnings - the grandfather is housebound after suffering a stroke in July - he was presented with just £18, with the bookies saying they don’t do ‘non-runner favourite’ anymore. The 50p quad alone would have paid out more than £50.
He asked why they accepted a bet with that written on it if, as they told him, we haven’t done that for years. If Ladbrokes would like to clarify their rules, they can contact me at murphs35@hotmail.com. 
The obvious eye-catching football fixture this weekend is the Saturday blockbuster at Ibrox between the home side 1/1 and Celtic 3/1, Draw 5/2. 
This is a game that I feel Neil Lennon’s team cannot afford to lose. All form points to a home win but I just can’t see Celtic losing so the value bet for me is Celtic at 2/1, draw no bet. 
The recent return to form of Odsonne Edouard means a 5/1 price for first goal should be taken.  
Saturday Quad: Crystal Palace 1/1, Brentford 4/6, Forest Green, Hibs 1/1 (all games 3pm kick-off). £10 quad will give us a payout of £120.
Roy Hodgson’s team can take advantage of woeful Sheffield United; Brentford can further cement their promotion push with a win over Bristol City; Forest Green’s home form will be enough to beat Oldham and finally Hibs are in great nick and should vanquish Livingston.
Sunday Quad: Borussia Dortmund 4/6, Real Sociedad 4/6, Atalanta 4/7, AC Milan 8/15. £10 bet will return us £70.02.
The Dortmund side need to win to keep within touching distance of the top of the Bundesliga, while our two Italian teams both have their sights set on the Scudetto and should overcome resistance from Sassuolo and Benevento respectively. This will leave us cheering on the Basques of Sociedad to defeat Osasuna.
Finally, a losing bet that was so unlucky.
A reader did a tenner treble using build your odds with William Hill. The boosted one came in at 14/1, and when Watford beat Norwich he was waiting on the final leg of the bet, Man City to beat Newcastle to nil, to have the most corners and Newcastle to have the most cards.
They never looked like conceding and won 2-0, crushed Newcastle 7-3 on corners and Newcastle were winning 2-1 on cards… until a needless 88th minute challenge by Cancelo on Andy Carroll which earned a yellow card and made it two cards each. You’ll never get closer to a £1,260 payout!
Football Quiz
Last week I asked: Where do FC Santa Claus play their football?
Well done to Jimmy Halfpenny from Carrickhill who emailed me with the correct answer of: A. Finland. Jimmy has informed me that the kiss from Mrs Claus was icy hot!
This week’s question comes in three parts:
1. Which goalkeeper has the record of 138 clean sheets for the same Premier League team?
2. How many clubs have never been relegated from the Premier League?
3. How many teams were in the first ever Premier League?
Good luck with all your bets over another busy football holiday period. If you do touch for a bet please send it to me at murphs35@hotmail.com. Remember to always bet responsibly.