Thursday, October 11, 2007

One flu over…the cuckoo’s next

Even by my own modest standards, it’s been a bad week. I’ve been left virtually incapacitated by what I can only assume is a new super-strain of bird flu, possibly created by an increasingly desperate rogue element of the bookmaking industry.

I started feeling nauseous last Saturday, but I understandably put it down to watching Sharon Osbourne. I suspected something was awry the following day, when I ate all of the wife’s dinner, and my worst fears were confirmed on the night, when for the first time in three years I was forced to hit the scratcher while the wife was still awake.

I’m not one to complain though. It’s like my mom always says: when life throws you lemons; make a DVD.

I’ve used the time I’ve been laid up to study the weekend football action. England look to be good things against a shockingly poor Estonia side. Steve McClaren’s team will be full of confidence after their recent Ashley Cole inspired run; they’ve easily rolled over a couple of bums. They’re super-short at 1/12, but it’s virtually risk-free.

Personally, I’d rather have a little punt on Wayne Rooney scoring at any time at 5/4. Michael Owen has been lucky enough to receive two thumbs up from a German bint, but I suspect McClaren may save the tiny hitman for Russia on Wednesday.

The most enticing ‘special’ is probably an England clean sheet at a hugely tempting 4/9. I’m naturally worried about the form of Paul ‘Iranian shoplifter’ Robinson, but the Estonians lack the quality to take advantage.

The Republic of Ireland have been rocked by the withdrawal of Stephen Ireland. I guess the Manchester City man is still embarrassed after bumping off more grandmothers than Harold Shipman.

The Irish have turned to Alex Bruce in their search for quality cover. The solid defender is a real chip off the old block: he’s not good enough to play for England. The 23/10 for a draw between Ireland and Germany is unquestionably sound.

Julio Baptista couldn’t cut the mustard in the English Premier League: he was just a fat Francis Jeffers. The only thing chunkier than Bapman is the even money for Brazil kicking off their World Cup qualification campaign with a win against Colombia.

Whenever I think of the ‘lazy magician’, I picture the dwarf-like Paul Daniels looking up to the lovely Debbie McGee. The moniker actually belongs to Juan Roman Riquelme, who along with Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi, form three solid reasons why Argentina look the call at 3/10 at home to Chile.

My ultra-flu has led to vivid hallucinations. I could have sworn I saw Scotland sitting on top of their qualification group. I’ll be having the crack when Ukraine see off the overachieving Jocks at a mammoth 11/4.

The Faroe Islands once held Scotland to a 2-2 draw. Some people were shocked by that result; the Sweaties rarely score two goals in a game. The French will absolutely destroy the Faroes at 1/25; it could well be a rugby score.

Another match where there could be a rugby score is the rugby match between England and France. The English look a great shout at even money with a nine point start against the always chokable French.

That Chabal is definitely a big lad, but I reckon I could take him: if it wasn’t for this damn mega-flu. Last week’s accer absolutely romped home, Brazil, Portugal, Turkey, Ukraine and Croatia will follow suit at a large and hairy 14/1.


Copyright (c) Gerry McDonnell & soccerphile.com

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