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by Ben, last updated 2007-11-13 19:20:24

 On the third day...Heroes again

 by Gerry McDonnell

The wife is easily influenced by the mainstream media. Ever since the BBC first aired 'Heroes', she believes she has supernatural abilities. I've tried to explain that 'sensing' I'm not in a romantic mood does not equate to a 'power'; she's merely deduced that I haven't been drinking heavily.

I, however, have a genuine gift. I can make kitchen appliances spring to life just by talking to them. Just last night, I switched the oven on by staring it and growling, "Cook...Cook now...Cook now or else." It was a pressure cooker.

Tal Ben-Haim definitely has a unique ability, he can run in slow motion in real time. The plodding defender will become a bona fide English hero if Israel snatch a result against Russia.

The Russians have been priced up at 8/15 for the match, and that's shorter than Paul McCartney's arms. Only Croatia have won a competitive international in Israel over the last eight years; while France, England and Spain have all fell considerably short. The Israelis are a must-bet at 9/5 to avoid defeat.

If I had the choice of a new power to acquire, it would definitely be the ability to afford copious amounts of alcohol without the need for employment. Only the rich and the Scottish can currently pull this off.

The Jocks are one win away from arguably the greatest shock in international football since Ryan Giggs played two consecutive games for Wales. The Sweaties are formidable in front of their own supporters; 10/3 is verging on tempting.

Peter Reid, Terry Venables and Ron Atkinson have all been linked with the vacant managerial hotseat with the Republic of Ireland. Even after 400 years; we never tire of stitching up the Irish.

Ireland may be rudderless, but they face a Welsh team with even less direction. Wales have definitely gone backwards under John 'one good decision' Toshack; his penultimate game in charge may well end in a draw at 9/4.

Many people are under the false impression that it was the English who invented the beautiful game. It's a little known fact that it was actually an Irishman whose potato was too hot. I think we all know that Denmark are too strong for Northern Ireland at 5/4.

For a modern day footballer, a healthy diet is absolutely essential - so I'm guessing that Sir Alex Ferguson is far from happy with Ronaldo. The orange winger is quoted as saying, "I dated a girl from Manchester, and she showed me that steak pies and chips are very good." I was left flabbergasted by this revelation: Ronaldo dated a girl. Portugal are the weekend banker at 1/12 against Armenia.

The more I think about it, the most useful super-power to possess would definitely be X-ray vision. Imagine the possibilities: you could wander around the streets at night, checking for fractured metatarsals. I can see right through the 1/2 for a Czech Republic win over Slovakia.

When angry, I am blessed with super-human strength. All it would take for me to lift the wife clear up into the air is mild provocation and a forklift truck. Spain will run over Sweden at a hefty 4/5.

As much as I enjoy being able to pick up overweight women, I'd much rather be invisible; like the 1939 - 1945 chapter in a German history book. We won't be seeing 1/6 for a Germany win over Cyprus for very long.

One often underrated power is the ability to absorb the strengths of those around you. I could meet up with Arsene Wenger and ooze intelligence, chat with Jeff Stelling and become cool, or sit down with Oliver Holt and write inane drivel. I'm definitely feeling the 5/4 for Norway against the soon to be eliminated Turks.

Time travel remains the ultimate goal for all sci-fi obsessed nerds. There's no doubt that the world could potentially be changed for the better: we could eliminate the cause of wars, famine, decease and Frank Lampard. Nothing can stop Denmark, Portugal, Czech Republic, Spain, Germany and Norway from landing an 11/1 accer.



 Euro 2008 Betting - England Face Meaningless Waltz in Vienna


Steve McLaren has two games in the space of five days which could well be his last as manager of the national side. On Friday, England play Austria in Vienna for what should have been a dress-rehearsal for a potential fixture for the Euro 2008 finals. Instead it looks like being a useful run-out for the co-hosts, while for England a meaningless friendly, ahead of what seems the inevitable failure to qualify for next summer’s main event.

Against all logic, McLaren is maintaining a positive outlook, hoping that Russia drop points against Israel or Andorra; or that Croatia lose in Macedonia. Either scenario would promote England’s final group E game at home to the Croats on Wednesday to a qualification decider. The complex situation in Group E is mirrored in several of the eight qualifying sections, where the final picture will only be clear after the completion of the fixtures on both Saturday and Wednesday. It promises to be an exciting few days of international football, and PinnacleSports.com will be offering unbeatable Euro 2008 betting odds , betting many games to less than 102%, which gives bettors up to 60% better odds.


Beckham Likely to Start for Meaningless Waltz in Vienna

Steve McLaren recently flew out to the States to watch David Beckham in a charity game, giving the biggest hint that Becks is still part of his thinking, for however long Macca stays in charge of the England side. Beckham’s domestic season is over, with the LA Galaxy failing to make the MLS play-offs, but McLaren has made his feelings clear that should Russia fail to beat Israel, turning England’s final game against Croatia into an all-or-nothing decider, he wants ‘big game’ players on the team-sheet.

There are plenty of ‘ifs?’ and with such uncertainty clouding the situation it may be hard for England to concentrate on the game in Vienna. Ashley Cole is another player who is likely to get game time following injury, but McLaren must do without several first choice players, such as Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, and he has given strong hints that goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, has run out of chances, and will be replaced by Aston Villa’s, Scott Carson.

For Austria this is an important part of the build-up to their co-hosting of next year’s event. No-one sees them as credible challengers, so to a certain extent the pressure is off coach, Josef Hickersberger, but host countries are always lifted by territorial advantage, and Austria have set themselves the goal of at least progressing to the knock-out stages. Their recent results suggest that it is a widely optimistic target, winning just one of their last ten games against what can generously be called ‘mediocre’ opposition.

Hickersberger has nowhere near the depth of quality available to Steve McLaren, but his side should rise to the occasion for what is an eagerly anticipated friendly given the context, while England may struggle to shake off the disappointment of the decisive recent defeat in Moscow. PinnacleSports.com make England slight favourites on their Asian Handicap, priced 1.800 (-0.5) with Austria 2.150 (+0.5).


Best Euro 2008 Odds at PinnacleSports.com!




 Euro 2008 Betting - Final Places Still Up For Grabs


The long road to next year’s European Championships in Austria and Switzerland, which began in September 2006, will finally draw to a close next Wednesday. However, with only a few days of the campaign remaining the final standings in at least half of the eight groups are far from being decided. The fate of some of Europe’s biggest football nations still hangs in the balance, including England, France and World Champions, Italy, whose respective games will provide exciting betting opportunities. Check out PinnacleSports.com for up to 60% better Euro 2008 betting odds for all the remaining fixtures.


Group A - Four Nations Fighting Over Two Places

The eight teams of Group A are still some way from sorting themselves out, with four points separating Poland (24pts), Portugal (23pts), Serbia (20pts) and Finland (20pts). However, all face winnable home fixtures on Wednesday, which puts the fate of the top two teams in their own hands. If Poland beat Belgium in Chorzow, they will book their place at Euro 2008, which will be hugely important for the co-hosts of the 2012 event.

Portugal have two remaining home fixtures against Armenia and Finland. While Finland play Azerbaijan in Helsinki on Wednesday, they then head to Porto for what will effectively be a second place decider, which they must win to push the 2004 finalists out the door. Serbia can only qualify by winning their remaining games at home to Kazakhstan and Poland, while hoping Portugal and Finland draw and/or lose their other games. PinnacleSports.com are offering up to 60% better Euro 2008 betting odds for all remaining Group A games.


Group B – Italy, France & Scotland Neck and Neck

Two points separate three teams at the top of Group B, including two recent World Champions – Italy & France – alongside the brave Scots, looking to make their first international tournament since World Cup 1998. The game between Scotland and Italy at Hampden Park on Saturday looks like being the decider. The Scots must win to guarantee a place in Austria and Switzerland, while a draw would require France to fail to win in the Ukraine on Saturday. Italy has the strongest hand, expecting three points in their final game at home to the Faroe Islands, they must simply avoid defeat in Scotland, so expect some typically tenacious Italian defending. PinnacleSports.com are offering up to 60% better Euro 2008 betting odds for all remaining Group B games.


Group C – Straight Play-off Between Norway & Turkey

Saturday’s Euro 2008 qualifier between Norway and Turkey in Oslo looks like being a straight decider as to who finishes in the crucial runners-up spot behind Greece. The Norwegians currently lead the Turks by two points, but victory for Fatih Terim’s side would put them in pole position for qualification. Norway will be without captain, Martin Andresen, while hoping for a big game from striker, John Carew, who has only just received an all-clear after injury. The Norwegians are unbeaten at home during this campaign while Turkey’s recent away form has been their downfall, the worst of which being a 2-2 draw away to lowly Malta. PinnacleSports.com price Norway marginal favourites 2.02 (0/scratch & -0.5) with Turkey 1.909 (0/scratch & +0.5).


Best Euro 2008 Odds at PinnacleSports.com!






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