Thursday, December 8, 2005

The Lying, the Hitch and the Gnawed Lobe

Often in the past, I’ve been accused of being over careful with money. I refute this allegation, only last week I forked out more than a fiver on the wife’s Christmas present. But why should I spend a fortune taking the little ones to see the new movie ‘Narnia’, when for no cost I can share ‘The chronicles of Harry Redknapp’, an epic fantasy adventure.

It’s a tale so ridiculous, any movie executive worth his white powder would have laughed out loud before binning the script. Harry managed Portsmouth, walked out, joined their fierce rivals, then marched the Saints out of the Premiership. A few mistruths, a snag or two and a word in the ear from Frank Lampard Senior later, and Harry is Frattonising with Pompey once again. You couldn’t make it up.

Every team in the country would fancy their chances against the Portsmouth circus this weekend, the computer has generously handed Spurs the three points. Tottenham at 4/9 are the weekend nap.

Some credit the form of Stevie Gerrard for Liverpool’s excellent recent run of results; others believe Peter Crouch’s battle against adversity has inspired his team-mates to greater heights. Personally, i put it down to Harry Kewell elbowing his Mrs to the other side of the World.

Liverpool’s improved form can be directly linked to Harry’s other half being 10,000 miles away in a rat infested hell-hole; Australia.

Kewell never saw eye to eye with antipodean compatriot Mark Viduka when both played for Leeds, possibly because of Harry’s pro-podean beliefs. Harry’s 5/2 to outscore Viduka on Saturday, a decent looking bet considering Liverpool’s water-tight defence.

May I be one of the first to congratulate Peter Crouch on opening his goal scoring account for the Reds. Crouch’s strike was welcomed by thousands of punters across the land, but it’s not all good news, it means we’re in for another three months of winter. Crouchy can be backed at 11/8 to score at any time against Boro, as the 8/15 Pool take all three points.

Newcastle were outplayed by an average Villa team last weekend; imagine what an on song Arsenal could do. The Gunners are a great bet at Even money, they’re literally a re-mortgage job if Michael Owen is ruled out. Graeme Souness is fighting for his life as the manager of the Toon; the fat lady is clearing her throat.

Birmingham City are going to absurd lengths to try to record their first home win of the season, Emile Heskey even tried a Diego Maradona impression against the Hammers last week, or ‘The hand of God-awful’ as it should be christened. Fulham are the latest visitors to St Andrews who are guaranteed at least a point; back the draw at 11/5.

Put these weekend specials on your shopping list:

“Nuts” – Alan Shearer to score with a header 13/2
“Ketchup” – Man Utd to win from behind 6/1
“Crackers” – Wayne Rooney to score two or more goals 7/2
“A pear” – Thierry Henry to score two or more goals 5/1
“Te Bags” – Vaz Te to score at any time 7/4

Quote of the week:

“I’ve stuck by my job for five or six weeks, I’ve done well.”

Paul Gascoigne should stay away from reporters.

Q & A of the week:

Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves to Stuart Pearce:
“Danny Mills has been dropped from the squad, can you tell us why?”

Psycho:
“He’s broke his leg”

Stat, you’re a liberty:

Liverpool and Everton have scored a total of 25 league goals between them this season; Celtic have scored more than that away from home.

Acc of the week:

Liverpool, Sunderland, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham make up the weekend accer; this cheeky little 5 fold pays out at 28/1.

Weekend Betting:

Liverpool v Middlesbrough Saturday 10th December 12.45 Live on Sky

Liverpool 8/15
Draw 12/5
Middlesbrough 5/1

Get on: Liverpool

Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in their last nine matches in all competitions. The Boro haven’t won at Anfield for nigh on 30 years, it’s not rocket science.
Match Special:
Peter Crouch to score the first goal 5/1

Birmingham v Fulham Saturday 10th December 15.00

Birmingham 6/5
Draw 11/5
Fulham 15/8

Get on: Draw

Fulham have a great record at St Andrew’s, three wins and three draws from their last six visits. Blues can’t win at home, Fulham can’t win away. Draw.
Match Special:
Match to finish 1-1 11/2

Blackburn v West Ham Saturday 10th December 15.00

Blackburn 10/11
Draw 9/4
West Ham 5/2

Get on: Draw

Blackburn go goal crazy at home to the Hammers, they’ve scored 25 goals in the last 7 meetings. West Ham are playing well away from home, score draw.
Match Special:
Match to finish 2-2 14/1

Bolton v Aston Villa Saturday 10th December 15.00

Bolton 4/5
Draw 9/4
Aston Villa 3/1

Get on: Bolton

Bolton are practically ensured a goal start due to a Ridgewell handball, it’s a home win.
Match Special:
Bolton to win 1-0 6/1

Charlton v Sunderland Saturday 10th December 15.00

Charlton 4/7
Draw 12/5
Sunderland 9/2

Get on: Sunderland
It’s six defeats on the bounce for Charlton and they haven’t kept a clean sheet for 13 matches. Sunderland have never lost at the Valley in the Premiership; 9/2 should tempt.
Match Special:
Sunderland to score two or more goals 10/3

Chelsea v Wigan Saturday 10th December 15.00

Chelsea 1/5
Draw 4/1
Wigan 11/1

Get on: Chelsea

Chelsea were extremely lucky to beat Wigan on the opening day, you can take fortune out of the equation here. Home banker.
Match Special:
Chelsea to win 2-0 11/2

West Brom v Man City Saturday 10th December 15.00

West Brom 7/4
Draw 9/4
Man City 5/4

Get on: Man City

The Baggies are unbeaten in three in the league, but City’s demolition of Charlton makes them worthy favourites.
Match Special:
Man City to score three or more goals 9/2

Newcastle v Arsenal Saturday 10th December 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus

Newcastle 9/4
Draw 9/4
Arsenal Evs

Get on: Arsenal

Newcastle haven’t scored against the Gunners in 6 hours and 20 minutes of football. It’ll be all over Soun.
Match Special:
Arsenal to score three or more goals 7/2

Man Utd v Everton Sunday 11th December 16.00 Live on Sky

Man Utd 2/7
Draw 7/2
Everton 8/1

Get on: Draw

Everton took four points from Man U last season and can be confident of nicking another. It’s four wins out of five for the Moyes Boys, United have a European hangover and Van Nistelrooy misses the match through suspension. A coupon buster is on the cards.
Match Special:
No goal scorer in the match 10/1

Tottenham v Portsmouth Monday 12th December 20.00 Live on Sky

Tottenham 4/9
Draw 13/5
Portsmouth 6/1

Get on: Tottenham

Pompey have lost their last four without finding the net and they concede 3.5 goals a game when they travel to the Lane in the Premiership. Robbie Keane is the hottest striker in the Premiership, as Edgar Davids discovered last week. Home win.
Match Special:
Robbie Keane to score two or more goals 9/2

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