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by Ben, last updated 2008-05-01 00:42:27

 Thai Hard: With a Vengeance

 By Gerry McDonnell

Tubby Brazilian Ronaldo may be one of the greatest players to ever grace a football pitch, but he's definitely a poor role model. The AC Milan man let himself down when he invited three members of the late-night entertainment industry back to a motel. It wasn't just the fact that they turned out to be ladyboys; he shamefully offered to pay them for doing nothing. If I pay a builder to construct a conservatory, and he brings along a few superfluous tools, I'd expect him to keep his head down and finish the job.

This sorry tale was not the only case of mistaken identity this week; Rio Ferdinand kicked a female Chelsea steward after mistaking her for a wall. It sounds like a tall story, but I once kicked the wife by accident; I thought she was her mother.

This is Rio's first high profile gaffe since that moment of madness a few years ago, when he dated Emma Bunton. I will definitely be dipping in to the 7/1 for a draw between Manchester United and West Ham.

Rio wasn't the only player involved in controversy at Stamford Bridge last week; Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba almost came to blows over a free kick; they should really have got a room with Ronaldo. I can't get my head around the 11/2 for a Newcastle win over Chelsea.

The funniest moment of the match came after the final whistle, when the Manchester United players had a Benny Hill style fight with the Chelsea groundsmen. The United boys were completely out of order; Rio Ferdinand should know by now to keep off the grass. Middlesbrough are involved in a real fight, they'll beat Portsmouth at 11/10.

Rafa Benitez's decision to wind up Didier Drogba prior to their Champion's League semi will rightfully be filed alongside Ronaldo's shemale escapades in the 'what a massive rick' category, but both are trumped by my decision to make a move on a waitress when I holidayed in Thailand. I won't bore you with all the gruesome details, but let's just say that she wasn't the only one who received a large tip. I'm far more comfortable with this tip; back Liverpool to beat the imploding Manchester City at 8/11.

Gareth Barry is considering a move to Liverpool as he wants to join a club that can match his ambition. Evidently his ambition is to perform adequately in Europe and never win the league. The Villa can overtake Everton for the UEFA cup spot by seeing off Wigan at 4/7.

Last week was disastrous for Birmingham City. As the Blues threw away a 2-0 lead at home, Fulham were performing miracles in Manchester and Bolton were holding on for a point at White Hart Lane. Maybe there is a little truth in the gypsy's curse; they should never have sold him to Blackburn. Fulham v Birmingham will be a cracker, I'll explode when Fulham take the points at 5/4.

Robbie Savage could definitely forge a career in the female impersonation industry once his best footballing days are behind him; somewhere in 1998. Blackburn are a far better team since they dropped the blonde deadwood; they'll beat Derby by two or more goals at 5/6.

If Reading v Tottenham produces as much action as the reverse fixture, it'll be quite an entertaining game. Tottenham romped to a 6-4 victory at the Lane; narrowly foiling my bet on 'no goalscorer'. Reading have deteriorated since then; they haven't scored a goal since March and only Derby have a worse goal difference. If Tottenham don't take all three points at 12/5, I'll be more hurt than when I woke up in Thailand with a worse limp than Heather Mills.

All the warning signs were there with that Thai waitress, she actually warned me that she'd be bringing some nuts up to the room. I thought she meant that I'd enjoy a late night snack - unfortunately, I was correct. I'm definitely right in taking a large slice of the 8/11 for an Arsenal win over Everton.

I'm reminded of my Thai nightmare whenever I see Roy Keane's infamous challenge on Alf-Inge Haaland; that was some tackle. Roy's boys have been priced up at 11/2 against Bolton, that's very, very big.

It was quite ironic that I ended up in a compromising position with a male who looked like a female, as my wife could easily pass for a builder. Aston Villa, Blackburn, Tottenham and Arsenal form a 10/1 accer of which there can be absolutely no ambiguity.

Weekend Football Betting:


Man Utd v West Ham Saturday 3rd May 12:45 Live on Sky

Man Utd 1/5
Draw 6/1
West Ham 16/1

Get on: Draw


Aston Villa v Wigan Saturday 3rd May 15:00

Aston Villa 4/7
Draw 14/5
Wigan 6/1

Get on: Aston Villa


Blackburn v Derby Saturday 3rd May 15:00

Blackburn 3/10
Draw 9/2
Derby 12/1

Get on: Blackburn


Fulham v Birmingham Saturday 3rd May 15:00

Fulham 5/4
Draw 12/5
Birmingham 23/10

Get on: Fulham


Middlesbrough v Portsmouth Saturday 3rd May 15:00

Middlesbrough 11/10
Draw 5/2
Portsmouth 11/4

Get on: Middlesbrough


Reading v Tottenham Saturday 3rd May 15:00

Reading 5/4
Draw 12/5
Tottenham 12/5

Get on: Tottenham


Bolton v Sunderland Saturday 3rd May 17:15 Live on Setanta

Bolton 4/6
Draw 3/1
Sunderland 11/2

Get on: Sunderland


Arsenal v Everton Sunday 4th May 13:30 Live on Sky

Arsenal 8/11
Draw 11/4
Everton 9/2

Get on: Arsenal


Liverpool v Man City Sunday 4th May 16:00 Live on Sky

Liverpool 8/11
Draw 11/4
Man City 9/2

Get on: Liverpool


Newcastle v Chelsea Monday 5th May 16:00 Live on Sky

Newcastle 5/1
Draw 16/5
Chelsea 8/13

Get on: Newcastle



 Asian Handicap Football betting Premiership


Last weekend’s showdown in the Premiership title race exceeded all expectations, with drama off and on the pitch. Chelsea’s win over Man Utd brings the sides level on points, ensuring the title race goes right down to the wire. There are only two fixtures remaining, but it is as important as ever to get the best Premiership betting odds available, up to 60% better at leading online bookmaker, PinnacleSports.com.


Can West Ham Continue to Hold Hoodoo Over Man Utd?

Despite losing last weekend at Stamford Bridge, and allowing Chelsea to draw level on points, Manchester United’s destiny is still firmly in their own hands. The Red Devils’ goal difference is so superior that as long United win their remaining games, (or equal Chelsea’s results) they win the title. On paper their two remaining fixtures are very winnable games, starting at home to West Ham on Saturday lunchtime. The Hammers are marooned in mid-table with nothing to play for, illustrated by a record of one win from their last six games. The one gnawing doubt for Man Utd fans is the knack West Ham have shown for producing shock results against them.

The Super Irons have won the last three meetings of the clubs, including on the final day of last season, when Carlos Tevez scored to ensure survival from relegation. Tevez has of course switched clubs since then, but couldn’t help his new employers losing at Upton Park around Christmas. Probably the most famous clash of these clubs came on the final day of the 1995 season, when West Ham held Man Utd at Upton Park to a 1-1 draw that allowed Blackburn to pip them to the title by one point. Though 13 years have passed since, that games remains a painful memory for United fans who may have a few butterflies come Saturday. They may be eased by Fergie fielding his strongest available XI, unlike last weekend, while reaching the Champions League final will also have provided a huge boost. PinnacleSports.com price Man Utd strong favourites 2.190 (+1.5 & +2)* – a market priced to less than 102%.


Chelsea Must Keep Winning & Hope for Favours Elsewhere

Chelsea’s gutsy win over Man Utd last weekend will amount to nothing if they cannot maintain their momentum at St.James’ Park on Monday. United have two chances to slip up, and Chelsea have the same number of opportunities to capitalise. Though Newcastle have nothing tangible to play for, Kevin Keegan will want to maintain recent positive momentum to the end of the season, as well as producing a good sign-off for the final home game of this campaign.

The Geordies’ performance against Chelsea will also provide a useful benchmark for next season, when King Kev will be hoping to be challenging them much more closely. Though this game is a much harder challenge than Man Utd’s home fixture with West Ham, Avram Grant does have Frank Lampard back in the fold, and with this game played on Monday, Chelsea should benefit from the extra preparatory time. Chelsea have won three of the last four meetings, but each victory was by just a single goal, backing up the Asian Handicap quote at PinnacleSports.com pricing Chelsea 2.000 (+1)*.


*All odds subject to change






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