Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday April 6 2006
Working on a Sunday is comparable to sleeping with the wife, it occurs rarely and it’s never enjoyable. The gaffer is aware of my reticence, whenever circumstances demand that I appear on the Sabbath he throws me double time and a day in lieu, I’m reasonably happy with that, but Louise has just handed her notice in. As a result, I’ll be spending this Sunday watching three live Premiership matches.
Chelsea v West Ham kicks off the action at midday and an early shock could be on the cards. Man United are breathing down the champion’s necks and Chelsea are feeling the pressure; they’re currently wobbling like a jelly on a drunken Sumo wrestler.
There’s a definite cloud over the Bridge, after being booed by his own supporters, a depressed Didier Drogba is reportedly considering a move away from the club. Imagine that, Drogba, down. There’s a real case for backing the Hammers at 8/1 against a choking Chelsea, but a lay of the Champions at around the 3/10 mark on the exchanges is a more practical option. It’s practically in already.
Super Sunday continues when Liverpool host Bolton, and this one could be tasty. If my memory serves me correctly, Stevie Gerrard used Kevin Nolan’s back as a trampoline earlier in the season; you would think he could afford his own. A sending off in the match is available at 10/3, that’s definitely worth a small interest.
Robbie Fowler has had a good week, after overtaking Kenny Dalglish in Liverpool’s all-time goal scorer list; Rafa has confirmed that a couple more goals could earn him a new contract at the club. The scally legend has a lot to play for, and like a dyslexic hippy; i’m a big believer in ‘Fowler power’. The Pool should be backed at 1/2 to take the three points; Robbie should be backed at 11/10 to get on the scoresheet.
After a couple of tasty starters, the live action reaches a crescendo when Arsenal travel to Old Trafford. This fixture has finished goalless on the last two meetings, but that’s about to change. Arsenal are currently in a purple patch, and United’s patch is arguably even purpler, it’s a Fergie’s nose patch. There will be goals in this one, and United want it that little bit more. They’re good looking bets at even money.
Van Nistelrooy started on the bench last week, came on, went to ground easily, and then banged in his 150th goal for the club, it was a typical Van the man performance. Nistelrooy and Arsenal have a little history, he’s a 9/2 shot to score the last goal against his old mates. The British press have had Cesc on their brain all week, but United have a half decent youngster of their own, his name’s Rooney, and he can play ball. Wayne likes the big occasion, he’s a 6/4 shot to score at any time.
Martin Jol’s decision to continuously play Mido ahead of Jermain Defoe leaves me perplexed. As I often reassure the wife, there’s nothing wrong with having two little ones up front. Spurs play hosts to a Man City team who still have their manager’s savage criticism ringing through their ears, an improved performance from City is an absolute certainty; 7/2 screams value.
The Boro v Newcastle match reminds me of the time I holidayed in the Orient, there’s every chance it might end up in a tie. The last three meets between these two have finished all square, a trend that looks set to continue. 11/5 is on offer, let’s rock and roll.
The weekend specials:
“I should be so lucky” - Portsmouth to keep a clean sheet 15/8
“All you need is Love” - Lovenkrands to score and Rangers to win 1-0 20/1
“Johnny be good” - John Terry to be booked 11/4
“Shay a little prayer” - Newcastle to keep a clean sheet 15/8
“Let's talk about Cesc” - Fabregas to score two or more goals 25/1
Quote of the week:
“Every time I pull on the shirt, I give 120%.”
Jermain Defoe puts all other professional footballers to shame, they only put in 110%.
Stat, you’re a liberty:
A quick perusal through the Premiership’s top 20 goal scorers this season makes interesting reading; the most lethal striker is…Luke Moore. Aston Villa’s rising star scores a goal every 1.88 shots. To put that stat in perspective, Rooney’s ratio is 1 in 4.85, Lampard scores 1 in 5.80.
Acc of the week:
Man City, Fulham, Aston Villa and Liverpool are all good looking bets on their own, throw them all together, you’ve got a gorgeous little 32/1 accer.
Tottenham v Man City Saturday 8th April 12.45 Live on Premiership Plus
Man City 7/2
Get on: Man City
Both teams go in to the match on the back of a disappointing defeat. Tottenham struggled to see off West Brom in their last home match, 7/2 about City stands out.
Man City to score two or more goals 3/1
Charlton v Everton Saturday 8th April 15.00
Get on: Charlton
Charlton are unbeaten at home this year; Everton are winless in five on the road. The Toffeemen failed to beat Sunderland last week, at home.
Darren Bent to score the only goal of the game 25/1
Portsmouth v Blackburn Saturday 8th April 15.00
Get on: Portsmouth
It’s three wins out of three for Pompey; Blackburn have lost five of their last six matches away from Ewood Park.
Mendes to score at any time 4/1
Sunderland v Fulham Saturday 8th April 15.00
Get on: Fulham
Sunderland have not won a home match all season, Fulham have failed to win away. The Mackems have only found the net in two of their previous nine home matches, Fulham have scored in five of their last six away games. An ‘O’ must go, it’ll be Fulham’s.
Fulham to keep a clean sheet 7/4
Wigan v Birmingham Saturday 8th April 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus
Get on: Birmingham
Wigan have lost their last three in front of their own supporters; City have beaten Bolton and held Chelsea in their last two games.
Birmingham to win 1-0 8/1
Aston Villa v West Brom Sunday 9th April 12.00
Aston Villa 11/10
West Brom 9/4
Get on: Aston Villa
Villa have taken four points from their last two home matches (against fellow strugglers Pompey and Fulham). The Albion have lost their last three, and they’ve never beaten the Villa in the Premiership.
Steven Davis to score at any time 4/1
Chelsea v West Ham Sunday 9th April 12.00 Live on Sky
West Ham 8/1
Get on: West Ham
Four points out of nine constitutes a bad run of form for Chelsea; the Hammers have won five of their last eight away games, including a triumph at Highbury. I’ve seen worse 8/1 shots.
Harewood to score the only goal of the game 90/1
Liverpool v Bolton Sunday 9th April 14.00 Live on Sky
Get on: Liverpool
Liverpool have won five on the bounce, scoring 20 goals. Bolton have lost their last three, conceding seven times. It’s been over 50 years since Bolton won a league match at Anfield.
Liverpool to win and keep a clean sheet 11/10
Middlesbrough v Newcastle Sunday 9th April 15.00
Get on: Draw
There’s a history of draws in this fixture, with both teams being consistently inconsistent, another tied match is the sensible conclusion.
Match to finish 2-2 14/1
Man Utd v Arsenal Sunday 9th April 16.00 Live on Sky
Man Utd Evs
Get on: Man Utd
The two hot teams in the Premiership collide, it’s eight consecutive victories for Man U, while Arsenal have handed out four beatings on the bounce. Either team could win, at the available prices; the home team receives the nod.
Any player to be sent off 13/5
By Rob The Bookie
Date:Thursday April 6 2006
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