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Weekend Spanish Football

by Ben, last updated 2007-06-14 18:12:39

 Gerry's Picks

 By Gerry McDonnell

We have to stop the Blubber Ring

Call me a non-conforming malcontent, but I wholeheartedly disagree with the concept of marriage. When at Alton Towers, I absolutely love it on the log flume, but after a few rides, I should be free to have a go on the black hole.

It's a statistical fact that if a couple of a similar age marry, the male has the shorter life expectancy. I haven't read up on the reason behind this, but my hunch would be the ‘until death do us part' line in the ceremony.

There are occasionally extenuating circumstances for staying with the same partner for a significant number of years, but there aren't that many blonde, mute, orphaned, former gymnast cleaners wandering the streets.

Steven Gerrard, Michael Carrick, John Terry and Gary Neville are all making a huge rick by taking their partners up the aisle this weekend. I don't wish to scaremonger, but if my marriage is anything to go by, the bride's libido is replaced by an appetite for cake the moment the ring makes contact with the finger.

Gary Neville would love for David Beckham to show up on his big day, but Becks will be busy training for Real Madrid's title decider. Few would argue with the fact that Beckham deserves a medal; if only for his quick thinking in getting out of the Neville do. The slow-witted bint-beaten former golden boy of English football will finally get his hands on something other than Rebecca Loos; Real Madrid are absolute bankers at 2/13 at home to Mallorca.

Steven Gerrard's marriage to orange pancake-eater Alex Curran will undoubtedly be the glitziest affair. The couple originally wanted Gary Barlow to perform at the reception, but decided to go for a more upmarket feel and order a karaoke machine instead. The 11/4 for the red-hot Villarreal to snatch a point off Seville is enough to make me burst into a quality rendition of ‘the size of a cow'.

I'm really enjoying the Under-21 tournament in Holland. To be honest, after five years of marriage, I'd be interested in anything under 21 stone. Portugal are the pick of the weekend punts at 2/5 against the underwhelming Israelis.

Once again, Big Brother has managed to completely hook me in. Tracey is probably the most interesting character in the series; I'm sure the mad raver would look a picture on her wedding day; as would her lovely bride. Tracey is now second favourite behind ‘any other' in the outright market, but I'd rather be on Gerry at 5/1. So to speak.

I'm like any other young male who's visited London, we've all done Charley a couple of times. It's not easy to win the title of the most annoying member of the Richardson clan, but Charley has romped home practically unchallenged. The mouthy nause is an absolute certainty to be the next housemate evicted after the maladroit Shabnam.

Is Lewis Hamilton a flash in the pan or the real deal? This may well be the easiest question to answer since ‘Will John Terry have a bouncer at his wedding reception.' The even money for Hamilton to take the title is shining like a doorman's eye after a meeting with Jody Morris.

Just because I'm anti-marriage, it doesn't make me a misogynist; that's purely a coincidence. Espanyol, Valencia, Real Madrid and a Seville draw form a 14/1 weekend accer that I can really commit to.




 preview from PinnacleSports.com


Last Saturday in the space of 18 seconds the La Liga title race was turned on its head. Goals in the final minutes of Real Madrid's and Barcelona's penultimate league games proved hugely significant with both games ending as draws, leaving the Madridistas on top of the Primera Division and in charge of their own destiny with one game remaining. In the simplest terms, if Madrid win, the title belongs to them, however if they fail to take maximum points there are some very interesting scenarios which could see any one of three teams celebrating. For bettors looking to end the Spanish season on a winning note there is only one winning scenario - betting with www.pinnaclesports.com at up to 60% better La Liga odds.

Real Madrid's Destiny in Their Own Hands
Real Madrid have gone three seasons without winning the Spanish title, and such is the level of expectation at the club, that the fans' relationship with the team during this barren period has often been tense. However, as Los Blancos are just one win away from landing the title, a show of solidarity is expected at the Bernabeu for the game against Mallorca on Sunday. Their Balearic opponents have been motivated to spoil Madrid's party, after Real's president, Ramon Calderon's premature celebrations last weekend assumed Mallorca would be beaten. In addition Barca and Sevilla are offering the visitors 600,000 euros to rain on the Galactico's parade.

Mallorca have recorded some surprising wins at the Bernabeu such as a 3-2 win in 2004 and an amazing 5-1 thrashing in 2003. Madrid do however have an excellent recent record in encounters, winning the last five meetings, and will be spurred on by the massive prize of winning the league, and satisfying the desire of 80,000 supporters. www.pinnaclesports.com have Real Madrid as strong favourites 2.190 (-2) and Mallorca 1.775 (+2).

Barca May Struggle to Pick Themselves Up
Football can be a cruel game, just ask Barcelona coach, Frank Rijkaard. Last Saturday his side were dealt two massive blows in the defence of their La Liga crown, as they conceded a 90th minute goal in their Catalan derby against Espanyol, which was compounded by Real Madrid's last gasp equaliser away to Real Zaragoza. The combination of those two events leaves Barca praying that this weekend their arch-rivals slip up, while they must get three points away to Gimnastic, otherwise they will lose their title. Silverware isn't all that is at stake, should they lose the title to their nemesis, the recriminations will swiftly follow and inevitably heads will role, from both players and staff.

Though Barcelona won their last away game 6-0, they will certainly be shaken by last week's disastrous events, but must cling to the hope that this week fortune will favour them and not Real. They couldn't face a weaker away opponent for such a crucial game. Gimnastic have already been relegated boasting the worst home defensive record, and have lost three straight home games conceding eight times. www.pinnaclesports.com envisage an away win pricing Barcelona 2.09 (-2) with Gimnastic 1.84 (+2).

Sevilla Could Yet Pull Off Remarkable Treble
Though the odds are stacked against Sevilla, the battle for the Spanish title remains a three horse race. The Sevillistas are two points adrift of Barcelona and Real Madrid, so if that duo both lose and Sevilla win at home to Villarreal they will add the La Liga title to the UEFA Cup won last month. If it's a three-way tie, Madrid will take the spoils; a two-way tie between Barca and Sevilla, and the Catalans retain their crown; while dead-heat between Sevilla and Madrid, would hand the title to the Andalucians, setting up a possible treble, with the Copa Del Rey to come.

There are some big 'if's' in there. Villarreal have motivations of their own, chasing a UEFA Cup spot, so will be tough opponents. Sevilla were unable to break down Mallorca last weekend without several key attacking players such as Kanoute and Kerzahakov, who remain below full fitness, and Juande Ramos must keep in mind the cup final on June 23rd. www.pinnaclesports.com have Seville as marginal favourites 1.909 (-0.5) with Villarreal 2.020 (+0.5).






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