Friday, December 15, 2006

Ex-Panda Bull

I feel a genuine affinity with Alan Pardew; as I too have been unjustly dismissed from the workplace. My only ‘crime’ was being young and in love. Admittedly, it was wrong of us to consummate our relationship during working hours; but I remain convinced that the zookeeper overreacted.

Eggert Magnusson may well rue the decision to harpoon the former Hammer-head. Alan Curbishley is undoubtedly a competent replacement, but like Frank Lampard, he’ll take a while to find his feet. The ‘Egg man’ has handed Man U three points at a cracking 1/2.

Rio Ferdinand is unable to look back on his time at Upton Park with any real fondness; he has the memory span of a dead goldfish. Rio and Vidic look rock solid at the back, a United clean sheet appeals at 11/10.

Chelsea will have to beat Everton to keep pace with the leaders, and I’m absolutely convinced that they will. I’m all over the 4/7 like John Terry on a referee.

Let’s hope that Drogba keeps the theatrics to a minimum. (Diving is only ever acceptable after several lagers.) Didi looks the most likely first scorer at 9/2.

Roman Abramovic has placed £500m in a trust fund to secure Chelsea’s future. Ashley Cole was expecting £505m; he’s so upset about the situation he’s in talks with his publisher. I’m grabbing 5/2 about Chelsea winning 1-0 or 2-0.

Sol Campbell represented Arsenal on 197 occasions and he can justifiably feel proud that he avoided a breakdown in the majority of those matches. Sol returns with a Pompey team who have conceded 25 goals on their last 7 trips to Highbury; you’ll be mad if you miss the Gunners at 4/9.

The influx of foreign owners in the Premiership may appear a cause for concern, but like the ‘back-pass rule’ or giving women ‘the vote’, there’s nothing to fear in practice. Liverpool are quite rightly licking their lips at the thought of a cool Sheikh; I’m excited about 4/6 for a Pool win at the Valley.

Newcastle are suffering with injuries. Owen, Ameobi, Parker, Duff, Bramble, Moore, Bernard, Harper, Carr, Emre, Solano and Sibierski are either ruled out or doubtful; and in a stunning development, Kieron Dyer may also miss the game through injury. Watford can snatch a draw at St James’ Park at 13/5.

Apart from the top four places, the Premiership is completely wide open this season. The result of Reading v Blackburn could be absolutely anything; except for a draw or an away win. The Royals are smoking at 6/5.

Neil Warnock has been remarkably restrained on the touchline this season; i’ve a feeling that he’s about to explode like Robbie Savage when the average price of a caravan rose dramatically in the late 90s. Wigan look a great bet at 10/11 to light the spark.

El Hadji Diouf is suspended for the trip to Aston Villa; allowing him to spend some quality time at home with his wife. All the stats point to a draw like it’s a ginger boy in a ballet class. Get involved at 11/5.

Man City are unbeaten at home and Tottenham are yet to win away; the 6/4 about a home win looks a trifle too big. I expect City to come out all guns blazing from the start. In Manchester, that’s not a metaphor.

My computer is a lot like the wife, if the information is punched in correctly, positive results are guaranteed. My spreadsheet plays a sound if the odds offered by a bookmaker are greater than the actual probability of success; when I placed 5/4 next to Fulham, it whipped out a guitar.

Liverpool, Reading, Wigan, Chelsea and Fulham are the sure-fire selections for the weekend accer. The payout of 21/1 is so sweet; it reminds me of my first love. I’ll never forget you Ling-Ling.

Weekend Betting:

Charlton v Liverpool Saturday 16th December 12:45 Live on Premiership Plus

Charlton 5/1
Draw 14/5
Liverpool 4/6

Get on: Liverpool

Match Special:
Liverpool to score four or more goals 6/1

Arsenal v Portsmouth Saturday 16th December 15:00

Arsenal 4/9
Draw 10/3
Portsmouth 15/2

Get on: Arsenal

Match Special:
Gilberto to score at any time 4/1

Newcastle v Watford Saturday 16th December 15:00

Newcastle 8/11
Draw 13/5
Watford 9/2

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
No goalscorer in the match 10/1

Reading v Blackburn Saturday 16th December 15:00

Reading 6/5
Draw 23/10
Blackburn 13/5

Get on: Reading

Match Special:
Doyle to score the first goal 5/1

Wigan v Sheff Utd Saturday 16th December 15:00

Wigan 10/11
Draw 12/5
Sheff Utd 7/2

Get on: Wigan

Match Special:
Camara to score two or more goals 11/2

Aston Villa v Bolton Saturday 16th December 17:15 Live on Premiership Plus

Aston Villa 11/8
Draw 11/5
Bolton 11/5

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
Petrov to score in a 1-1 draw 25/1

Everton v Chelsea Sunday 17th December 13:45 Live on Sky

Everton 11/2
Draw 14/5
Chelsea 4/7

Get on: Chelsea

Match Special:
Chelsea to keep a clean sheet 11/10

Man City v Tottenham Sunday 17th December 15:00

Man City 6/4
Draw 23/10
Tottenham 9/5

Get on: Man City

Match Special:
Richards to score with a header 9/1

West Ham v Man Utd Sunday 17th December 16:00 Live on Sky

West Ham 13/2
Draw 10/3
Man Utd 1/2

Get on: Man Utd

Match Special:
Saha to score two or more goals 5/1

Fulham v Middlesbrough Monday 18th December 20:00 Live on Sky

Fulham 5/4
Draw 9/4
Middlesbrough 5/2

Get on: Fulham

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