Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday May 18 2006
For out and out drama, you’ve got to love the Championship play-off final. Who could forget Charlton’s pulsating victory over Sunderland in the classic final of ‘98? Well sadly, my old man. In fact, if you see a small befuddled pensioner roaming the streets, you’ll be better off avoiding football trivia altogether, senility is no picnic.
Watford and Leeds meet in this year’s showpiece, in what is believed to be ‘the most valuable game in world football’, the winners pocket something in the region of £35m, and that’s quite a respectable little region. It’s a tough one to call, but as Leeds failed to win in nine of their last ten league matches, the Hornets look the pick at 8/5.
With the reward so great for the victors, there’s a possibility that things could get a little bit tasty. Adrian Boothroyd (the Watford manager) was the instigator of a mass brawl when he wound up ‘One Size’ Fitz Hall in the semi, he’ll definitely have the Hornets buzzing against his former employers. A sending off is available at 2/1, you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss it.
Watford’s Marlon King has been a revelation this season. The Championship’s top scorer bounced back from an unproductive loan spell at Elland Road to bang in 22 goals this season. Marlon famously served five months at her majesty’s pleasure, but he regrets mistakes made in the past, he should never have played for Leeds. The regal King is available at 11/2 to bag the opener.
There’s also a play-off final in the Conference, and as my old man used to say before senility kicked in like a rampant mule; “Any football is better than no football.” Hereford and Halifax meet in the grand finale to the non-league season, and Halifax look a little bit of value; the Shaymen can move mountains at 15/8.
With football matches thin on the ground, our betting needs will have to be serviced in the ring. Amir Khan steps up in class to fight Laszlo Komjathi in Belfast on Saturday night; although fighting my wife would be a real step up for the embryonic future World champion. Amir is finally being tested and i have complete confidence that Khan will take it in his stride. Bolton’s finest is worth a punt at 5/1 with Stan James to crush ‘The Rock’ in the third, the big hitters can back Khan to move to 7-0 at 1/50 with Corals.
Danny Williams steps in for a troubled Scott Harrison on the same card and you can’t blame Frank Warren for throwing Williams an opponent who may or may not have swept roads in Mexico. Williams is scheduled to fight Skelton on 8th July, so a defeat is completely out of the question for Warren, backing Williams to win is buying money.
Eamonn Magee tops the bill against Takaloo and the Irishman should be backed at 11/8 to win by a decision. Takaloo can punch, but as Ricky Hatton discovered, Magee’s chin is as solid as they come. Takaloo hasn’t fought a quality opponent since Wayne Alexander punched him so hard he forgot where he lived, a scenario my old man is more than familiar with.
By Rob The Bookie
Date:Thursday May 18 2006
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|1.||Pride of Lions||844|
|West Ham||0||-||0||Aston Villa|
|Aston Villa||0||-||2||Man City|
|15. Crystal Palace||12||3||3||6||-4||12|
|16. Aston Villa||12||3||3||6||-11||12|
|17. Hull City||12||2||5||5||-3||11|
|18. Leicester City||12||2||4||6||-7||10|
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