I’ll be honest with you all, I am not, nor have ever been, a practicing doctor. However, I know a case of robsavitis when I see it, a medical condition that makes you collapse for no apparent reason. Arjen Robben is the latest high profile sufferer, hopefully he’ll recover in time to face a freefalling Boro.
Steve McClaren’s team are in a relegation battle and the fans are revolting. One supporter ran 60 yards to throw his season ticket towards the Boro bench; McClaren’s considering a £4 million bid. The irate fan has been allowed to return to the Riverside; the Judges in Middlesbrough are a particularly cruel bunch, the fan asked for a custodial sentence.
Boro’s Lee Cattermole shed a tear on the pitch after Villa put four past them, he’ll be bawling like a ginger haired school girl when Chelsea are finished with them. 4/11’s short, but as my wife always says, size isn’t important.
I’m afraid I have to have another pop at Peter Crouch. Thierry Henry scores roughly two goals every three games for Arsenal, while Ruud Van Nistelrooy scores more than two in three for Man U. Crouchy has scored 4 goals in 31 appearances for Liverpool, an average of two goals every 15 ½ games, and that’s with help from the dubious goals panel.
I’ve criticised Peter Crouch on a few occasions this season, if he ever sees me, he’ll probably want to hit me; i’d better change my name to Annette. The big man has scored 50% of his total goals for Liverpool against Wigan; with Robbie Fowler chomping on the bit, the Reds are definitely worth a nibble at 4/5 to leave the JJB with three points.
Tottenham travel to the Stadium of Light to play Sunderland, the Premier League equivalent of a bye. With or without madman Mido, Spurs have the points in the bag; invest at 2/5. A gentleman’s agreement stopped Danny Murphy from making his debut last week against Charlton, but he’s not bitter. Dan the man’s a 7/2 shot to open his account for the Lilywhites.
Rio Ferdinand returns to the Man U team after receiving a ban for clattering Robbie Savage. It was a harsh dismissal in my opinion; Savage throws himself to the ground if the cost of curling tongs rises above the rate of inflation. Rio looks set to retain his place in the middle of the park, he’s accustomed to a holding role. Ronaldo is back in the goals, Rooney and Nistelrooy are straight out of the top drawer; a trip to Portsmouth should hold no fear for the Red Devils, they’re good things at 1/2.
Like a fat man who runs a marathon, the residents of Newcastle were overjoyed when the Sweaty Sock was removed. Unfortunately, cheers turned to tears when Glenn Roeder was placed in the chair, he famously relegated a team that included Joe Cole, Kanoute, Di Canio and Defoe; imagine what he’ll do with Boumsong and Bramble. The Geordies are useless on the Roed; make Aston Villa your weekend nap at 6/5.
Sol Campbell’s a lot like me, he likes a quick half before going home. Arsenal were solid at the back in his absence last week, they can get the better of Bolton at Highbury. Back the Gunners at 1/2, you’ll be depressed if you miss it.
Valentines Day is around the corner, there’s a little bit of love in the weekend specials
“Love is in the air” - Peter Lovenkrands to score with a header 7/1
“My Hart will go on” - John Hartson to score a hat-trick 33/1
“The passion of the Christ” - Ronaldo to be booked 2/1
“A total eclipse of the Bart” - Joey Barton to be sent off 25/1
“Surly Val and Tyne” - Carvalho and Shearer both to be booked 9/1
Quote of the week:
“I must go to the hospital to see Robben; he must have broken his neck.”
Rafa Benitez is alright by me.
Stat, you’re a liberty:
Wafer thin step over merchant Ronaldo has a worse disciplinary record than Robbie Savage this season.
Stat, you’re an absolute liberty:
Every time Manchester United have visited Portsmouth in the Premiership, they’ve been beaten.
Acc of the week:
Liverpool, Aston Villa, Fulham, Man City and West Ham form the weekend accer, it’s a 22/1 beauty.
Wigan v Liverpool Saturday 11th February 12.45 Live on PPV
Get on: Liverpool
Wigan haven’t won in three since they booked a trip to Cardiff, the Pool are playing better than recent results suggest.
Liverpool to keep a clean sheet 5/4
Arsenal v Bolton Saturday 11th February 15.00
Get on: Arsenal
Only Chelsea have won more matches at home than the Gunners, Bolton have gone four matches on the road without recording a win.
Thierry Henry to score direct from a free kick 7/1
Aston Villa v Newcastle Saturday 11th February 15.00
Aston Villa 6/5
Get on: Aston Villa
Villa have lost only 1 in 10, Newcastle have lost their last four league matches on the road without scoring. Historically, the Villa are unbeaten in their last six face-offs with the Toon Army.
Luke Moore to score two or more goals 13/2
Everton v Blackburn Saturday 11th February 15.00
Get on: Everton
Everton sit on top of the recent form table, Blackburn lost at West Brom in their last match.
Cahill to score the only goal of the game 33/1
Fulham v West Brom Saturday 11th February 15.00
West Brom 11/4
Get on: Fulham
Fulham are unbeatable at home in the league, the Baggies are very beatable on the road; or off the road.
Fulham to keep a clean sheet 11/8
Middlesbrough v Chelsea Saturday 11th February 15.00
Get on: Chelsea
The Boro have conceded 17 goals in 6 matches; Sunderland, Coventry and Nuneaton were in that elite group. It’s a question of how many; the answer is two or three.
Chelsea to win 2-0 or 3-0 13/5
Portsmouth v Man Utd Saturday 11th February 17.15 Live on PPV
Man Utd 1/2
Get on: Man Utd
It’s five without a win for Pompey, United have scored 18 goals in 6 games. It could be a pasting.
Ronaldo to score at any time 2/1
Sunderland v Tottenham Sunday 12th February 13.30 Live on Sky
Get on: Tottenham
A high scoring encounter historically, there have been three goals or more in each of the last 10 meets. I can see a few goals again, all to Tottenham.
Tottenham to win 3-0 7/1
Man City v Charlton Sunday 12th February 16.00 Live on Sky
Man City 4/5
Get on: Man City
Psycho’s men have won their last four at home, the Addicks haven’t won an away match in the league since October. City have found the net 11 times in the last three meetings with Charlton, they’ll fancy this one.
Joey Barton to score at any time 11/4
West Ham v Birmingham Monday 13th February 20.00 Live on Sky
West Ham 4/5
Get on: West Ham
It’s six straight wins for the Hammers, averaging 2.5 goals a game. Blues are playing well at home, but they’re still struggling on the road.
West Ham to score three or more goals 3/1
By Rob The Bookie
Aston Villa have a few players out on loan so far this season, so here's an update following on from the last month.
Gordon Cowans' Under 21 side hosted Burnley on Monday at Bodymoor Heath in a friendly.
Aston Villa have six players away with their countries in the October international window.
Midfielder Jordan Veretout hasn't just had to adjust to life in a new country, at a new club and with a new language, there was also the small matter...
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