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A Ferd In The Hand

A Ferd In The Hand

A Ferd in the hand is worth two on the box

There`s only one thing in life that`s more enjoyable than an evening with the wife and kids, and that`s an evening without the wife and kids. Whenever I`m lucky enough to be rid of the evil one and her two clones, I like to relax in front of the box with a couple of lagers watching quality television programming.

As the free-view doesn`t kick off until 11:00pm, my programme of choice is ideally football related and entertaining, thus immediately ruling Soccer AM out of the equation. With the exception of the imperious Jeff Stelling show on a Saturday afternoon, other programmes struggle to match my demanding criteria, so you can imagine my unconfined joy when news broke that Rio Ferdinand was set to enter the world of light entertainment.

His wind-up show was a disappointment, the sketch where he 'murked` the drug testers by forgetting to turn up was left out, as was the one where he 'murked` the Man U board by refusing to sign a contract until their wage offer rose from £100,000 to £110,000 a week. I imagine the sketch where he was going to 'murk` Martin Jol by pretending to bid £18m for Michael Carrick was pulled for being too unrealistic.

Rio has been offered another bite at the TV cherry, the premise being that Ferd and his crew will 'pimp` up the pads of….fellow millionaire professional footballers. I literally can wait.

Talking of pimping, Wayne Rooney misses United`s match against Watford due to the FA upholding a ridiculous ban for a red card in a friendly. Rooney`s agent hit back by threatening to withhold Wayne`s image rights; I can only guess that Rooney suggested 'upping the ante` and Stretford misunderstood. United have won their last six against Watford, the Mancs are the weekend nap at 2/5.

With Rooney banned, best pal Cristiano 'more dives than Glasgow` Ronaldo should be backed to net the opener. Ronnie`s been priced up at 15/2, a price so big I almost fell over.

Watford were absolutely robbed by the ref at Goodison Park, they`re now playing Man U, they`ll be lucky if they`re awarded a throw in. Watford won`t score, take 21/20 about a United win coupled with a clean sheet.

Arsenal have treated Man City in recent years like Ben Thatcher treats Pedro Mendes, they`ve pounded on them unmercifully. (Mendes is not the first person to be unable to work thanks to Thatcher.) Arsenal have left Manchester with all three points on their last eight visits, you`ve got to fancy the Gunners at 8/11 to reach number nine. Someone`s going to take a pommeling at the hands of the Wenger boys soon, there`s a decent chance it`ll be Thatcher`s mob.

Blackburn players do enjoy a challenge. The wild Rovers had two players sent off on the opening day, that`s virtually a friendly for Savage & co. Chelsea were turned over at Ewood Park last season, a repeat is out of the question. A wounded Chelsea are a great bet at 4/7 to make amends for their Boro bashing.

I had my fingers burnt by Liverpool last week, but the Reds can make amends at home to West Ham. Liverpool`s attacking options were limited when Stevie G snatched the FA Cup from the Hammers` grasp in May, but now they have three quality marksmen and Peter Crouch competing for a start. The Pool should be backed at a healthy 1/2.

Fulham look a promising investment at home to Sheff U at 10/11. Chris Coleman`s battlers won the same amount of home matches as Manchester United last season, only a disastrous campaign on the road ensured a 12th place finish. I`m a little worried about the Malbranque situation, Chris Coleman appears to be cutting off his nose to spite his face; that`s only a good idea if you`re Iain Dowie. If the Cottagers come anywhere near replicating last season`s home form, we`re venturing towards decent stake territory.

David O`Leary`s lackadaisical attitude ensured the Villa team rolled over and died away at Arsenal in a 5-0 defeat just four months ago, yet under Martin O`Neill, the same group of players were able to fight like the wife 'when the decorators visit` to nick a commendable draw. The Villa are worth a bet at 7/5 at home to Newcastle, simply because of the O`Neill factor.

I`m a great believer in positive thinking. There`s an old saying that I hold dear, 'If at first you don`t succeed, then Paul Jewell will probably buy you`. You shouldn`t kick a dead dog, but I can`t help but feel that the signing of Heskey will prove disastrous for Wigan. Reading have started the season well, they`re worth a second look at 3/1 to leave the JJB with three points.

The acc of the week:

The accer this week is so certain, that even under extreme torture it would refuse to budge. Liverpool, Fulham, Tottenham, Arsenal and Aston Villa are the good things, you`re looking at a payout of 17/1.

The weekend specials:

"A little Camp?" - Ivan Campo to score with a header 20/1
"A professional Fowl" - Robbie Fowler to score a penalty 6/1
"Bull's high" - Jimmy Bullard to score with a header 14/1
"A very dirty Vid" - Mark Viduka to be sent off 20/1

The quote of the week:

"He`s not intelligent."
Jose 'all tact` Mourinho, when asked about Michael Essien.

The lay man:

Sheff Utd are begging to be laid at 10/3 for their trip to the Cottage, this is possibly how the expression 'easy money` originated. Help yourself at Betfair, Backandlay or Betdaq.

Weekend Betting:

Liverpool v West Ham
Saturday 26th August 12.45
Live on Premiership Plus

Liverpool 1/2
Draw 10/3
West Ham 15/2

Get on: Liverpool

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

Charlton v Bolton
Saturday 26th August 15.00

Charlton 6/4
Draw 9/4
Bolton 9/5

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
Match to finish 1-1 11/2

Fulham v Sheff Utd
Saturday 26th August 15.00

Fulham 10/11
Draw 9/4
Sheff Utd 3/1

Get on: Fulham

Match Special:
Papa Bouba Diop to score with a header 10/1

Tottenham v Everton
Saturday 26th August 15.00

Tottenham 4/5
Draw 12/5
Everton 4/1

Get on: Tottenham

Match Special:
Berbatov and Keane both to score 13/2

Watford v Man Utd
Saturday 26th August 15.00

Watford 15/2
Draw 10/3
Man Utd 2/5

Get on: Man Utd

Match Special:
Ronaldo to score direct from a free-kick 8/1

Wigan v Reading
Saturday 26th August 15.00

Wigan Evs
Draw 9/4
Reading 3/1

Get on: Reading

Match Special:
Lita to score the only goal of the game 50/1

Man City v Arsenal
Saturday 26th August 17.15
Live on Premiership Plus

Man City 9/2
Draw 13/5
Arsenal 8/11

Get on: Arsenal

Match Special:
Henry to score a hat-trick 25/1

Aston Villa v Newcastle
Sunday 27th August 14.00
Live on Sky

Aston Villa 7/5
Draw 9/4
Newcastle 2/1

Get on: Aston Villa

Match Special:
Angel to score with a header 6/1

Blackburn v Chelsea
Sunday 27th August 16.00
Live on Sky

Blackburn 6/1
Draw 11/4
Chelsea 4/7

Get on: Chelsea

Match Special:
John Terry to score at any time 5/1

Middlesbrough v Portsmouth
Monday 28th August 20.00
Live on Sky

Middlesbrough 5/4
Draw 5/2
Portsmouth 11/4

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
Boateng to be booked 6/4

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Friday August 25 2006
Time: 10:21AM


Who would have thought that "Rob the Bookie" would be saying "Get on: Aston Villa" six weeks ago? Fantastic!!!!!
Villain Of The North
26/08/2006 12:00:00
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