Even a betting genius can occasionally have a bad week. After receiving an ultimatum from the wife, “It’s either betting or me.” I immediately had a lumpy bet on Chelsea to beat Betis. To make matters even worse, the threat turned out to be very much like the wife; idle.
Sir Alex Ferguson has also had a week he’d rather forget. On a disastrous trip to the Riverside, United found themselves 3-0 down at half-time. Fergie turned the hair-dryer up to full blast, but the players were just as wet in the 2nd half.
Two days later, a Roy Keane interview severely criticised Rio, Fletcher, Miller, O’Shea, Richardson and Alan Smith, he obviously forgot about Paul Scholes.
With team morale shattered, a midweek defeat in the Champions League was almost inevitable. The Manchester United era of domination is officially over thanks to Mr Keane’s tirade, the bubble has well and truly burst, and all it took was one prick. Chelsea are a confident pick at 5/4 to add to Fergie’s week of woe.
Jose Mourinho used the word ‘voyeur’ to describe Arsene Wenger this week, which is somewhat unfair; I don’t think anybody has derived any real pleasure from watching Chelsea this season.
The smile can return to Wenger’s face this weekend when they take on Sunderland; Arsenal’s reserves won 3-0 at the Stadium of Light in the Carling Cup, imagine what the first-team will do at Highbury.
Charlton are the only team in England with a 100% record on the road, but that stat will come under threat at Ewood Park. Blackburn are a team in Mark Hughes’ image, last week he received a red card for kicking a bag, in all fairness, we’ve all been there.
Craig Bellamy has scored three goals in three games since he returned from injury, the wild Rovers are extremely backable at 5/4.
Alan Shearer came off the bench to score against the Albion last time out; (He’s not the first footballer to be dropped by Graeme Souness.) the Geordie legend has every chance of inching closer to Jackie Milburn’s record against a woeful Birmingham.
The last four league games make depressing reading for the Blues; they’ve lost all four and scored in none. 8/13 is available for a Newcastle team that have won their last three games, which is practically a charitable donation.
Stuart Pearce has nicknamed Andy Cole and Darius Vassell ‘Laurel and Hardy’; Chris Coleman won’t be laughing as Andy Cole scores the goals that will condemn his former club to a third straight defeat.
Vassell scored twice against Aston Villa last week and Peter Crouch will try to continue the trend of ex players returning to haunt the Villans. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Crouch scored, it would be a miracle. Liverpool are awful away, Villa are just plain awful. This match has draw written all over it.
Super Soccer are making a song and dance of their weekend specials:
“Frankie goes to Hollywood” – Lampard to be booked for diving 66/1
“Billy Fury” – William Gallas to be booked 7/2
“Sleighed” – Chelsea to score four or more goals 11/1
“Busted” – Diouf and Pennant both to score 16/1
“The Who?” – Khizanishvili to score at any time 12/1
“El, Ton, John” – Diouf, Rooney and Hartson all to score 14/1
Quote of the week:
“Just because you are paid £120,000 a week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham, you think you are a superstar.”
Team builder extraordinaire Roy Keane offers his opinion on Rio Ferdinand.
Stat, you’re a liberty:
Alex Ferguson has crossed swords with Jose Mourinho on six occasions, and never won.
Acc of the week:
The accer pays a juicy 36/1.
Aston Villa v Liverpool Saturday 5th November 12.45 Live on Premiership Plus
Aston Villa 2/1
Get on: Draw
Liverpool haven’t won a match away from home in the league all season; the Villa haven’t beat the Reds at home this millennium. Score draw.
Match to finish 1-1 11/2
Arsenal v Sunderland Saturday 5th November 15.00
Get on: Arsenal
The Gunners have a 100% record at home in the Premiership, the Mackems have conceded 13 goals in 4 games, it’s a certain home win.
Arsenal to win 4-0 9/1
Blackburn v Charlton Saturday 5th November 15.00
Get on: Blackburn
Rovers and Charlton have met eight times in the Premiership and there has never been a draw. Bellamy is firing on all cylinders, get on the Rovers.
Bellamy to score two or more goals 13/2
Fulham v Man City Saturday 5th November 15.00
Man City 8/5
Get on: Man City
The last four meets between Fulham and Man City have all ended in a draw. The on fire Man City will end that run.
Andy Cole and Vassell both to score 8/1
Newcastle v Birmingham Saturday 5th November 15.00
Get on: Newcastle
Newcastle are on a great roll, Steve Bruce is singing the Blues. Home banker.
Newcastle to score four or more goals 13/2
West Ham v West Brom Saturday 5th November 15.00
West Ham 8/11
West Brom 10/3
Get on: West Ham
The Albion are at the foot of the recent form table, the Hammers are having trouble scoring. A hard fought low scoring home win is the solution.
West Ham to win 1-0 6/1
Portsmouth v Wigan Saturday 5th November 17.15 Live on Sky
Get on: Draw
Wigan have won 7 matches on the bounce in all competitions, but Pompey without Laurent Robert are an improving animal, score draw.
Dario Silva to score at any time 6/4
Everton v Middlesbrough Sunday 6th November 14.00
Get on: Middlesbrough
Boro won at Goodison in the Carling Cup; after thrashing Man U, there is no argument against a repeat.
Middlesbrough to win 1-0 7/1
Man Utd v Chelsea Sunday 6th November 16.00 Live on Sky
Man Utd 9/5
Get on: Chelsea
Chelsea are the top dogs in England, United aren’t even the best team in Manchester. Away win.
Chelsea to score three or more goals 9/2
Bolton v Tottenham Monday 7th November 20.00 Live on Sky
Get on: Bolton
It’s three clean sheets on the bounce for Bolton, Big Sam can edge the Champions League showdown.
Kevin Nolan to score the only goal of the game 45/1
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