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

Walking in a win to Sunderland

You’ve got to be tough with kids, my littlest one threw a strop last week when I didn’t lavish enough praise on him after he sent me a Christmas card. As a result of the little man’s naughtiness, his letter to Santa asking for a puppy, a train set and Rob McCaffrey to stop screaming, “What’s he like!” will now go unanswered.

Jose Mourinho may be a lot older than little Goliath, but he shares his disdain towards those who disrespect a greeting card. The special one’s mood will improve when Chelsea take all three points at home to Fulham, you can get on at 1/5. It would have been 1/8, but it’s been confirmed that Rob Styles will not be officiating.

Frank Lampard has been named the 2nd best player in the World this week. I can only assume that a few of the voters misunderstood the question, believing that ‘Name the greatest footballer’ was in relation to body mass. Super Frank scored in three games against Fulham last season; he’s worth a punt at 11/2 to net the opener.

Michael Essien is proving to be a versatile footballer; he’s added the forearm smash to his already impressive repertoire. He’s a 16/1 shot to see red, but beware; it looks like the only way he’ll ever be sent off is if he pulls out a machine gun.

Michael Owen returns to Liverpool with Newcastle, presumably to try and locate his wheel nuts. Liverpool’s trek to Japan and back can’t have done them any favours; the Geordies are definitely worth an interest at 4/1.

Alan Shearer should be backed at 5/2 to score at any time in the match; he’s just short of Jackie Milburn’s goal scoring record. Michael Owen is a 13/8 shot to find the net; he’s just short.

Alan Curbishley was being tipped as the next England manager a few weeks ago, the way Charlton have collapsed in recent weeks, he’d be lucky to find a job cleaning up in McDonalds, a position normally associated with Lee Bowyer. The Gunners are going to beat up on somebody soon, Charlton are that somebody. Take a piece of the 4/7.

I honestly haven’t been drinking (heavily), but I believe that Sunderland are worth a bet at home to Bolton. The Trotters lost away to Wigan in the Cup last week; they can’t be touched at odds on. The Mackems must be worth a small interest at 11/4; after all, Christmas is a time for miracles.

Thanks to Sky TV for allowing Soccer AM’s Helen Chamberlain to help out on their excellent darts coverage. Remember kids; a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.

The weekend specials follow a festive theme:

“Christmas cracker” – Wayne Rooney to score a hat-trick 16/1
“Carroll singing” – West Ham to keep a clean sheet 2/1
“Christmas pudding” – Emile Heskey to score two or more goals 12/1
“Ding Dong, merry Lee on high” – Bowyer to score with a header 16/1
“Ruud off, the Reds know pain dear” – Van Nistelrooy to be sent off 66/1

Quotes of the week:

“Birmingham have not won a trophy for err…I don’t think they’ve ever won a trophy.”
Alex ‘Rudolph’ Ferguson

“If you try and play football against Arsenal, they’ll beat you; we didn’t do that last week.”
Alan ‘Grumpy’ Shearer

“Paul Scholes is a fantastic midfielder, there’s not a weakness that he hasn’t got.”
Steve ‘Dopey’ Bruce

Stat, you’re a liberty:

The most boring team in Britain are…Liverpool. The matches involving the European Champions only average a total of 1.87 goals, the lowest figure in England & Scotland.

Acc of the week:

Last weeks accer romped in to pay for the Christmas beer, these beauties will get the New Years ale in. Back Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle and Blackburn, you’ll be paid out at 45/1.

Weekend Betting:

Charlton v Arsenal Monday 26th December 12.45 Live on Sky

Charlton 9/2
Draw 12/5
Arsenal 4/7

Get on: Arsenal

Arsenal murdered Charlton in both matches last season with Freddie scoring in both games. The Addicks have conceded 19 goals in their last 7 matches. The wounded Gunners will run riot.
Match Special:
Ljungberg to score the first goal 8/1

Chelsea v Fulham Monday 26th December 13.00

Chelsea 1/5
Draw 4/1
Fulham 11/1

Get on: Chelsea

Fulham are winless away from home all season; Chelsea haven’t conceded a goal in 11 ½ hours of football. A safe home win.
Match Special:
Chelsea to win 2-0 11/2

Tottenham v Birmingham Monday 26th December 13.00

Tottenham 2/5
Draw 11/4
Birmingham 13/2

Get on: Tottenham

The Spurs have scored three goals in their last three games. The way Birmingham are playing, a 3-0 defeat will be a respectable result.
Match Special:
Tottenham to win 3-0 7/1

Liverpool v Newcastle Monday 26th December 15.00 Live on Premiership Plus

Liverpool 8/13
Draw 12/5
Newcastle 4/1

Get on: Newcastle

The Toon army have only lost one match when Michael Owen has played this season. He’ll be up for this one.
Match Special:
Michael Owen to score two or more goals 7/1

Man Utd v West Brom Monday 26th December 15.00

Man Utd 1/5
Draw 4/1
West Brom 11/1

Get on: Man Utd

Man U are 6-1-0 in their last 7 league matches. The Albion have not won on the road all season. Home banker.
Match Special:
Van Nistelrooy to score a hat-trick 12/1

Middlesbrough v Blackburn Monday 26th December 15.00

Middlesbrough 10/11
Draw 9/4
Blackburn 5/2

Get on: Blackburn

Blackburn strolled to victory in last weeks Cup tie, a repeat is definitely on the cards.
Match Special:
Kuqi to score the first goal 15/2

Portsmouth v West Ham Monday 26th December 15.00

Portsmouth 5/4
Draw 9/4
West Ham 7/4

Get on: Portsmouth

Harry faces West Ham for the first time since he left the club four years ago; with the Hammers leaking goals recently, a home win gets the nod.
Match Special:
Portsmouth to score in both halves 11/4

Sunderland v Bolton Monday 26th December 15.00

Sunderland 11/4
Draw 12/5
Bolton 4/5

Get on: Sunderland

The Mackems will win a home match this season…. possibly.
Match Special:
Sunderland to score two or more goals 5/2

Wigan v Man City Monday 26th December 15.00

Wigan 11/8
Draw 11/5
Man City 13/8

Get on: Wigan

Both teams are capable of playing great football; it’s what the Yanks call a pick-em. City have lost four of their last five away from home, I’ll edge towards Wigan.
Match Special:
Camara to score two or more goals 7/1

Aston Villa v Everton Monday 26th December 17.15 Live on Sky

Aston Villa Evs
Draw 2/1
Everton 5/2

Get on: Aston Villa

The good news: Steven Davis has signed a new contract at the Villa. The bad news: Van Der Meyde has been ruled out for Everton. The good news edges it.
Match Special:
Steven Davis to score at any time 4/1




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Go on, get vitalled!

The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 22 2005

Time: 4:11PM

 

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