Jose Mourinho is like Marmite, his adverts are very annoying. Arsene Wenger is certainly not a lover of the special one, he threatened to sue Jose for an outrageous ‘voyeur’ slur earlier in the year, Mourinho retaliated by threatening to whip out his dossier. With clear animosity between the managers, Arsenal v Chelsea is a potential cracker.
Over the last few weeks, Arsenal have shown that they lack the necessary mental fortitude to compete effectively when the opposition are aggressive in the tackle, or to put it another way, they don’t like it up ‘em. The soft belly of the Gunners will face the ultimate test when they go head to head with Chelsea playmaker and part-time kneecap collector Michael Essien. Tough tackling will win it for Chelsea, an 11/8 steal.
Elsewhere on the coupon, Blackburn look a sound investment at 15/8 to take all three points from the Cottage. Fulham are in danger of dropping into the relegation shake-up, Robbie Savage is in danger of just being dropped.
The hairy Welshman has always excelled at winding up fellow professionals, but until last weekend it was only opposition players on the verge of laying him out. The only surprising element of ‘Caravangate’ was that Robbie didn’t roll on the floor to try and get his goal-keeper sent off. The always popular Savage is a 20/1 shot to receive a long overdue red card against Fulham; it’s 6/4 he goes in the book.
Alex Ferguson petulantly walked out of a press conference this week, adding fuel to the rumour that this will be his last season in the Old Trafford hot seat. I’d like to suggest David Blunkett as a potential replacement; he can hold a lead in Europe. United destroyed Wigan in midweek, they’re 8/11 against a Villa team without Mellberg and with Ridgewell. Fill your winter boots.
It’s ironic that in the week that the name Thatcher was back in the news, a Cole-man was sent off. Andy’s dismissal means that Darius Vassell leads the line for Man City against Birmingham, the ex Villan is worth an interest at 5/1 to open the scoring. Manchester City have been up and down like Peter Crouch in a house with reasonably sized door frames recently, but are a confident selection at 8/11.
Harry Redknapp claims he wouldn’t know how to place a bet online, I’ve glanced at a few of his betting previews, he’s a lucky man. Some believe that Harry’s magic will save Pompey from the drop, unless they’re referring to Harry Potter, I’d have to disagree. The in form Baggies should be backed at 2/1.
The weekend specials may ring a bell.
“Va Va Voom” – Thierry Henry to score two or more goals 6/1
“Nick Cole” – Joe Cole to be booked 7/4
“Papa” – Boupa Diop to score with a header 10/1
“The cream of Manchester” – United to score more than City 13/10
“They're tasty, tasty, very very tasty” – Blackburn to have a player sent off 6/1
“Once you pop, you can’t stop” – Essien to be sent off 25/1
Quote of the week:
“They all think Wayne’s this big fat person who eats burgers every day, which he’s not, and I don’t know where they get it from. It really does my head in because people really believe that. His favourite food is lettuce. He errrrr, loves salad.”
Coleen McLoughlin spills the peas.
Stat, you’re a liberty:
The last time Manchester United kept a clean sheet away from home was……September.
Acc of the week:
Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and a Middlesbrough draw make up the weekend accer, it pays over 20/1.
Aston Villa v Man Utd Saturday 17th December 12.45 Live on Premiership Plus
Aston Villa 10/3
Man Utd 8/11
Get on: Man Utd
United in crisis? They’ve won five of their last six matches in the league, the other was a draw. Away banker.
Van Nistelrooy to score a hat-trick 16/1
Everton v Bolton Saturday 17th December 15.00
Get on: Everton
Everton are the undisputed Kings of the 1-0, they’ve bagged five already, here comes number six.
Everton to win 1-0 6/1
Fulham v Blackburn Saturday 17th December 15.00
Get on: Blackburn
Blackburn have won on their last three visits to the Cottage, scoring 10 goals in the process. 15/8 appeals.
Paul Dickov to score two or more goals 10/1
Portsmouth v West Brom Saturday 17th December 15.00
West Brom 2/1
Get on: West Brom
It’s five straight defeats for Portsmouth, the Albion are undefeated in four. The Baggies have won six of their last seven matches against Pompey, it’s an away win.
Kanu to score at any time 9/4
West Ham v Newcastle Saturday 17th December 15.00
West Ham 11/8
Get on: West Ham
The Toon Army struggle at Upton Park, in their last five visits, they’ve earned one point. Man Utd are the only team to take three points off the Hammers at Upton Park since August. Home win.
Harewood and Zamora both to score 10/1
Wigan v Charlton Saturday 17th December 15.00
Get on: Charlton
With both teams struggling for form, Charlton get a tentative nod. Darren Bent scored the winner against Wigan when on fire earlier in the season, he’s heating up again.
Darren Bent to score the only goal of the game 33/1
Man City v Birmingham Saturday 17th December 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus
Man City 8/11
Get on: Man City
Psycho’s men haven’t scored at home since Halloween, a frightening statistic. It won’t be a thriller.
Man City to win 1-0 6/1
Middlesbrough v Tottenham Sunday 18th December 13.30 Live on Sky
Get on: Draw
Spurs don’t like it by the Riverside; they have to go back to 1996 to find a winning trip. Boro are gaining consistency, from their last six matches at home, they’ve won four and drawn two. Spurs are also in good nick, they’ve scored eight goals in their last three games. It’s a draw.
Match to finish 2-2 14/1
Arsenal v Chelsea Sunday 18th December 16.00 Live on Sky
Get on: Chelsea
It’s nearly 15 years since Chelsea won a league match at Highbury. That long wait is nearly over.
Chelsea to keep a clean sheet 7/4