Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday May 5 2006
A nappy ending
I’ve never really understood the fascination with babies; they’re small, they’re ugly and they make absolutely no effort to participate in a coherent conversation. My antipathy towards the little monsters probably began when the wife gave birth to little Goliath, she had the audacity to stay in hospital for a full two days after dropping the little cash magnet, the front room looked like a bomb had landed within a matter of hours; there’s just no excuse for her laziness.
For fans of Sunderland, the last day of the season is a lot like childbirth; after nine months of anguish, the end result makes you question whether all the effort was worthwhile. The worst team in the history of the Premiership will end their season of woe at Villa Park, back the Villans to take all three points at 8/13; it’s a little bundle of joy.
Fans of the Albion will also be glad to see the season come to a close; the locals of West Bromwich haven’t been this embarrassed since the Frank Skinner show first aired. The Baggies travel to Goodison Park where they have lost on their five previous visits; Everton are the nap of the week at 8/13.
Lady luck is not just smiling on Tottenham, she’s flashing a little bit of cleavage. West Ham are understandably concentrating on the FA Cup final, Spurs look an outstanding bet at even money to leave Upton Park with three points and a 4th place finish.
Arsenal’s fixation with this season’s Champions League has potentially cost them a direct route through to next season’s competition, which is like a vegetarian eating a burger to save a lamb. Arsenal have to win to keep their fading 4th place dreams alive, at 2/9 they can’t be opposed.
It’s tough to like Craig Bellamy, if he was your little brother, you’d probably feel the need to give him a little straightener. Dislike him or loathe him, you can’t argue with the fact that he’s the reason why Blackburn will be competing in Europe next season. The Rovers are 8/13 to see off Man City at Ewood; the Bell’s an 11/10 shot to end the season on the goal sheet.
Middlesbrough’s 2nd leg performance against Steaua Bucharest was possibly the greatest comeback since Glenn McGrath’s question of “Why are you so fat?” was countered with “Because every time I sleep with your wife she gives me a biscuit.” The Boro travel to Fulham and the Cottagers are the call at 8/11. It’s not all bad news for Boro fans though; Steve McClaren is the new England manager.
Chelsea should be backed at 5/4 to win at St James’ Park in a match that could have potentially disastrous repercussions. This could be the last game in charge for Newcastle’s caretaker manager, which will mean that I may never get to use the ‘I Roeder’ line which I had tucked away for a rainy day. Freddie Shepherd probably hasn’t taken that into consideration; typical selfish behaviour.
The weekend specials:
“Juan for the road” - Angel to score at any time 11/8
“Shaka can” - West Ham to keep a clean sheet 5/2
“Robben reliant” - Arjen Robben to score at any time 9/4
“Cross Doriva” - Doriva to be booked 11/4
“A Hoyte advantage” - Justin Hoyte to score with a header 33/1
Quote of the week:
“At times football is not just, and I guess God wanted Arsenal to go through.”
Villarreal striker Guillermo Franco with the quote, Jose Mourinho has denied favouring the Gunners.
Stat, you’re a liberty:
Forget Joey Barton, move aside Robbie Savage. The Premiership’s most outrageous bad boy is…Phil Neville. The lesser of two evils has been booked 11 times this season and has saw red twice.
Acc of the week:
The accer of the week has been a goldmine this season, Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham, Chelsea and Tottenham shall come together to finish the season with a bang. This little cracker pays out at 19/1.
Arsenal v Wigan Sunday 7th May 15.00
Get on: Arsenal
The Gunners are firing and have to win; Wigan have only won one in seven.
Arsenal to win 3-0 13/2
Aston Villa v Sunderland Sunday 7th May 15.00
Aston Villa 8/13
Get on: Aston Villa
The Villa have only lost one of their last six matches in front of their own supporters; Sunderland haven’t won at Villa Park since the 80’s.
Aston Villa to win and keep a clean sheet 11/8
Blackburn v Man City Sunday 7th May 15.00
Man City 4/1
Get on: Blackburn
Blackburn’s recent home form is exceptional; they’ve only been defeated once in their last 13 matches. Man City have lost eight of their last nine.
Craig Bellamy to score two or more goals 5/1
Bolton v Birmingham Sunday 7th May 15.00
Get on: Bolton
Bolton have won four of their last seven at the Reebok; Birmingham have not won on the road all year. The Blues have scored against Bolton on every occasion that they’ve met in the Premiership.
Bolton to win 2-1 7/1
Everton v West Brom Sunday 7th May 15.00
West Brom 4/1
Get on: Everton
Tottenham are the only visiting team to have left Goodison Park with three points this year; the Baggies have gone 12 games without a win and have only found the net once in their last six.
Beattie to score and Everton to win 1-0 25/1
Fulham v Middlesbrough Sunday 7th May 15.00
Get on: Fulham
Fulham have won three of their last four; the Boro are winless in four domestically.
Malbranque to score at any time 9/4
Man Utd v Charlton Sunday 7th May 15.00
Man Utd 2/9
Get on: Man Utd
Man U have won 9 of their last 12 matches; Charlton have only won one in seven and that was a fortuitous victory over Pompey. United have won their last seven matches against the Addicks.
Van Nistelrooy to score two or more goals 3/1
Newcastle v Chelsea Sunday 7th May 15.00
Get on: Chelsea
Newcastle can beat up on the little boys at home, but Liverpool and Man U both won comfortably at St James’ Park. Whenever Chelsea have lost in the league this season, they’ve gone on to win their next game.
Chelsea to score three or more goals 9/2
Portsmouth v Liverpool Sunday 7th May 15.00
Get on: Liverpool
Both teams are in excellent form, but while Pompey are in party mode the Pool have an outside chance of finishing runners-up. Liverpool have won their last ten matches and are unbeaten in their last five against Pompey, winning four of them.
Steven Gerrard to score at any time 9/4
West Ham v Tottenham Sunday 7th May 15.00
West Ham 2/1
Get on: Tottenham
The Hammers have won only two of their last seven league matches and last week’s win at The Hawthorns was a trifle fortunate. Take Man U and Arsenal out of Tottenham’s recent run of form and they’ve won six out of seven. Tottenham’s whole season comes down to this game, they have to win, they will win.
Robbie Keane to score at any time 11/8
Date:Friday May 5 2006
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|1.||Pride of Lions||644|
|Aston Villa||2||-||1||Leicester City|
|Crystal Palace||0||-||1||Aston Villa|
|West Ham||0||-||0||Aston Villa|
|13. Aston Villa||16||5||4||7||-10||19|
|16. Crystal Palace||16||3||6||7||-5||15|
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