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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Ain`t over til the fat laddie swings

To be successful in life, you have to be a positive thinker. Every night I say to myself, "You are Gerry McDonnell, and you can achieve anything." It`s equally important to remain level-headed though, so I always add: "Yes, but you`re still a tool."

Wayne Rooney also has confidence in abundance, but he`s struggling to keep his feet on the ground. Luckily, he can`t see the problem. The dark side of the Roon has led to simultaneous banning orders from domestic and international football, his return to Premiership action coincides with the visit of old foes Arsenal, talk about a recipe for disaster. A Rooney yellow at 7/4 is a tasty investment, a Rooney red should be eaten up at 12/1.

It had been reported that Rooney had kept himself in shape during his enforced sabbatical, unfortunately, that shape was a circle. Wayne`s lack of sharpness on Wednesday night was evident; it looks like the only real exercise he`d undertaken during his layoff was when he floored Blackburn`s Michael Gray for suggesting a threesome with Coleen, an offer which presumably enraged him as no money was set to change hands. The Gunners are a great bet at 9/4 to leave Old Trafford with a point.

I`m a huge fan of Cesc Fabregas. The young lad is still a teenager, yet he`s shone in a World Cup, dazzled in a Champions League final, and perhaps most impressively of all, he`s thrown pizza over Sir Alex Ferguson. It would be absolutely Fabregas if Cesc opens the scoring at 20/1.

Chelsea and Liverpool have gone to war more often than George Bush in recent years. The stats are quite deceiving though, the wife is backing Liverpool because Chelsea have only won two of their last eight meets, but on the other hand, Jose has a 100% record in the Premiership against his arch nemesis. For me, the other hand is always preferable to the wife; i`m tipping the Champions at 5/6.

There`s probably more chance of Stevie Gerrard and Robbie Fowler singing 'We are family` with the Neville brothers than there is of Jose shaking hands with Rafa once the match is over. The hostility between the managers could well be matched on the field of play, a red card appeals at 11/4.

Jose has criticised the press for giving Lampard a raw deal after a series of poor performances. One theory raised is that he may have something on his mind; my guess would be 'dinner`. The Lamp is as short as 11/2 to net the opener, the way he`s playing, I`d rather be a layer than a player.

You have to fancy Portsmouth to take three points at Charlton. Pompey are yet to concede a goal this season while Charlton`s defences have been penetrated every 45 minutes, an average that would make the wife`s eyes water. (She`s a big Charlton fan.) Pompey can keep up their impressive start to the season; get stuck in at 2/1.

The Boro have made an excellent loan signing in Jonathan Woodgate, if anyone knows about the qualities needed to be a top notch centre-back it`s Gareth Southgate, he played with Ugo Ehiogu for several years. Bolton v Middlesbrough bears all the hallmarks of a tight match; three of the last four meetings have been drawn, another deadlocked match appeals at 9/4.

Bobby Zamora could teach Michael Gray a thing or two when it comes to scoring; the underrated hitman has found the net in every game. It could go either way when the Hammers host Newcastle, it could either be a tight home win or West Ham could absolutely murder them. Take 11/10 about a stroll in the park for the Hammers.

Everton are the weekend nap at home to Wigan. Australian Tim Cahill is in criminally good form, AJ is falling over himself to get on the scoresheet and Phil Neville excels in doing the ugly stuff. The 8/11 is tastier than a banana wielding Maria Sharapova.

Aston Villa are the next best bet on the coupon at 13/8 to see off a mediocre Watford team at the Vicarage. It`s often said that nobody goes down in September, and after two weeks of solid research, I can confirm that this is the case. Watford may prove to be the exception.

A new lightweight Mido can be the Spur for Tottenham when they host Fulham at the Lane. The Egyptian announced that he managed to lose 22 pounds of ugly fat; Coleen McLoughlin could do with his phone number. The team playing at home has won this fixture on the last five occasions; back Tottenham at 4/6 to make that six out of six.

When Blackburn host Man City, a black-eyed Michael Gray and a purple-forearmed Ben Thatcher will be watching on as Barton and Mills scrap it out with Savage and Neill. I fancy Blackburn to win the match at 11/10, but I won`t be watching as I disagree with gratuitous violence. Call me an out of touch Guardian-reading pacifist, but I`d do anything for a little piece.

The acc of the week:

The accer this week is so undeniable, that even an Ashley Cole autobiography would struggle to cast doubt upon its authenticity. Everton, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Blackburn and West Ham are the picks, the payout is a weekend changing 33/1.

The weekend specials celebrate Wayne Rooney`s return, via the medium of song.

"Born tubby wild" - Wayne Rooney to be sent off 16/1
"Jumper round" - Wayne Rooney to score with a header 5/1
"Pork like an Egyptian" - Wayne Rooney and Mido both to score 5/1
"I gut two babe" - Wayne Rooney to score two or more goals 5/1
"Have I told you lately, 'fat' I love you" - Wayne Rooney to score a hat-trick 25/1
"I predict a diet" - Wayne Rooney not to score 8/15

The quote of the week

"I`ll educate him."

Stuart Pearce, when asked how he`ll handle 'the Micah Richards situation`; and I thought school was tough…

The lay man:

Watford must be layed at 2/1 on the exchanges. They`re just not very good.


Weekend Betting:


Charlton v Portsmouth
Saturday 16th September 12.45
Live on Premiership Plus

Charlton 6/4
Draw 9/4
Portsmouth 2/1

Get on: Portsmouth

Match Special:
Benjani to score the only goal of the game 45/1

Bolton v Middlesbrough
Saturday 16th September 15.00

Bolton 21/20
Draw 9/4
Middlesbrough 11/4

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
No goalscorer in the match 17/2

Everton v Wigan
Saturday 16th September 15.00

Everton 8/11
Draw 5/2
Wigan 4/1

Get on: Everton

Match Special:
Everton to score a penalty 6/1

Sheff Utd v Reading
Saturday 16th September 15.00

Sheff Utd 11/8
Draw 9/4
Reading 21/10

Get on: Reading

Match Special:
Sidwell to score at any time 9/2

Watford v Aston Villa
Saturday 16th September 17.15
Live on Premiership Plus

Watford 7/4
Draw 9/4
Aston Villa 13/8

Get on: Aston Villa

Match Special:
Angel to score with a header 9/2

Chelsea v Liverpool
Sunday 17th September 13.30
Live on Sky

Chelsea 5/6
Draw 9/4
Liverpool 4/1

Get on: Chelsea

Match Special:
Chelsea to win and keep a clean sheet 9/5

Blackburn v Man City
Sunday 17th September 15.00

Blackburn 11/10
Draw 9/4
Man City 11/4

Get on: Blackburn

Match Special:
One or more players to be sent off 2/1

Tottenham v Fulham
Sunday 17th September 15.00

Tottenham 4/6
Draw 5/2
Fulham 5/1

Get on: Tottenham

Match Special:
Tottenham to score three or more goals 5/2

West Ham v Newcastle
Sunday 17th September 15.00

West Ham 11/10
Draw 9/4
Newcastle 5/2

Get on: West Ham

Match Special:
Tevez to score the last goal 13/2

Man Utd v Arsenal
Sunday 17th September 16.00
Live on Sky

Man Utd 10/11
Draw 9/4
Arsenal 10/3

Get on: Draw

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




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday September 14 2006

Time: 11:27AM

Your Comments

What a great article to read if you are feeling down! And spot on with your first line!
sandgroanun
Odds on Watford are a bit skinny, I'd have thouhgt that Villa were clear favourites for that one.
Villain Of The North
Wasn't Gravesen crap on Wednesday!
myleftfoot
 

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