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Weekend Football Betting Tips

by Ben, last updated 2007-03-08 00:32:19

 Pinnacle Preview


The Riverside - Graveyard of Premiership's Elite
Middlesbrough are arguably the most enigmatic side in the Premiership. The Teessiders currently float in mid-table and are set to conclude another league season of mediocrity, despite having beaten Chelsea and Bolton at the Riverside and taking a point from both Liverpool and Arsenal. It was a similar story last season, with convincing home wins over Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, who they face in an FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday evening. The Red Devils left Teesside with their tails between their legs after a 4-1 drubbing, reinforcing the venue's reputation as the graveyard of the Premiership's elite.

United were also losers when the sides met in the FA Cup in 2002 at Boro's ground, when current coach, Gareth Southgate, captained the side. Southgate is looking to go one better than last season's FA Cup semi-final, and take advantage of treble-chasing United's congested fixture schedule. This will be Manchester United's seventh game in three weeks, and without doubt Ferguson will shuffle the pack, as he did in the previous round. Everything has been running Fergie's way so far, but football is a fickle business and he must travel to one of his bogey grounds, short of strikers; Larsson, Saha and Solskjaer are all unavailable. Nevertheless www.www.pinnaclesports.com rate the visitors marginal favourites 1.794 (+0.5) and Middlesbrough 2.16 (+0.5).

Citizens Looking for Distraction from Premiership Plummet
Man City is one of the best supported clubs in the country with a fiercely loyal fan base, but their supporters' patience has been severely tested of late. The Citizens have lost four straight Premiership fixtures and have found the net in just one of their last five. That form has seen them drawn ever closer to the relegation struggle, from which the FA Cup is a welcome distraction. City defeated Championship' sides in the previous two rounds, but now visit Ewood Park to face a Blackburn side who thrashed them 3-0 at the City of Manchester stadium toward the end of January.

In contrast to Man City's demise, Rovers are riding the crest of a mini-wave having beaten Arsenal in the previous round (on a replay), recording back-to-back league wins, and conceding just one goal in their previous five games. South African forward, Benni McCarthy, is on a roll, with three goals in two games. He will be eager for silverware in his first season in England. www.www.pinnaclesports.com rate Blackburn 1.943 (-0.5) and Manchester City 1.980 (+0.5).

Chelsea Still in the Hunt for Four Trophies
Having already bagged the League Cup with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal, another North London club stand in the way of Chelsea's bid for four pieces of silverware this weekend. The FA Cup is the only domestic competition Jose Mourinho is yet to win during his short tenure of the Blues, and the hugely competitive coach will want to rectify that soon. He will have to do without the services of battered captain, John Terry, who isn't expected to return to action until next week.

Spurs' season seemed to be going downhill after recent defeats in high-profile games against Arsenal and Man Utd suggested the club were nowhere nearer closing the gap with the country's elite. Some pundits even suggested Martin Jol might be sacked if the club failed to beat Fulham at Craven Cottage in the previous round of this competition. In the event Tottenham ran out 4-0 winners and have scored another ten goals in winning three further games, two on the road. In November at White Hart Lane Spurs recorded their first win over Chelsea since 1990. They must now attempt the near impossible and do what only Barcelona have achieved in the previous three seasons - win at Stamford Bridge. www.www.pinnaclesports.com favour the home side, with Chelsea 1.962 (-1) and Spurs 1.962 (+1).

Plymouth Flying Flag for Championship
Plymouth Argyle are the only remaining non-Premiership side in the FA Cup, but their quarter-final tie against Watford is highly likely to be a Championship fixture next season. Despite their best efforts, the Hornets are odds-on for relegation after a season struggling in the top flight. On that basis there is very little between the sides who www.www.pinnaclesports.com cannot separate offering them off a level Asian Handicap with Plymouth marginally favoured, 1.952 (0/scratch) and Watford 1.971 (0/scratch).

Argyle are managed by the eccentric Ian Holloway, who is never short of an opinion. He has wheeled and dealed on the transfer market, brining in poacher, Kevin Gallen, from his old club QPR, whilst adding Hungarian flair to the football at Home Park with three Magyars currently in the squad.




 Gerry's Picks

 by Gerry McDonnell

The bra has been raised

There are two things in life that I'll never really understand; bigamy, and the mechanics of a bra. The wife finds my ineptness hilarious, she was rolling on the floor last night as I struggled with a multitude of hooks; I should really have passed her the valium.

For me, that was the least amusing moment of my life, and I've met Tim Lovejoy.

Whenever I feel depressed, I find the quotes of Ian Holloway are always therapeutic. The great man has been responsible for more quality lines than Pete Doherty.

The Plymouth manager's mirth masks an underlying intelligence, like a beauty queen dying her hair ginger to fend off an unwanted suitor. I refuse to underestimate the modern day Socrates; I'm piling into Plymouth at 17/10 to knock out Watford.

The last time Middlesbrough met Manchester United, Gareth Southgate was quick to condemn Ronaldo's propensity to greet the turf like a long lost relative.

Sir Alex was equally unequivocal in his counter, labelling the novice manager ‘naïve', which as far as i'm aware, is not even a real word. There are an abundance of words that adequately sum up the 3/4 for another Manchester United win, I've settled for ‘pulchritudinous'.

It would not surprise me in the slightest if the contentious Ronaldo opened the scoring at 7/1. The orange winger is currently so hot; it would take a whole tub of Canesten to cool him down.

Chelsea's grip on the Premiership has been loosened by the often maligned John O'Shea. Frank Lampard found it particularly ironic, as most of his goals have been assisted by John's lesser known brother, Rick.

I've had a pop at Lamps in the past, but I must praise him for defending Adebayor in the aftermath of the Carling Cup. I'm not sure I believe his claim that he was never smacked; something must have given him the munchies. I'll be taking the family out for a slap-up meal if Chelsea beat Tottenham at 4/9; they can even ‘go large'.

Jose Mourinho should steer clear of the card tables. The Special One looked completely bewildered as Shevchenko missed another sitter last week; the only way the Chelsea manager would ever win at poker is if he played the West Ham lads. A bet on Lampard to net the opener at 13/2 is the equivalent of getting your hands on a big pair.

Blackburn host Manchester City in a tie that has ‘home win' written all over it. The Rovers have already hammered Psycho's gang twice this season; the odds of 19/20 would need to be lying seductively on a couch wearing a Velcro brassiere to be any more appealing.

Manchester City's strike-force is so lightweight, wafer-thin model Kate Moss would be a clear favourite if they were ever to meet in a ruck. Blackburn are 6/5 to keep a clean sheet, dig in.

I'm often asked why I appear reluctant to share my expertise on the Scottish football scene. I can assure you it's not a result of xenophobia; some of my best friends know Scottish people.

Celtic are on a six match unbeaten run against Rangers; they look a cracking investment at 21/20 to continue their recent outright ownership. There's a real lesson to be learned here, money earned from an FA Cup match is equal to money gained from park football.

The weekend accer is so inspiring; it makes me believe that one day all men will be free from discrimination, injustice and persecution for trying to lift a bra over a lady's head. Chelsea, Blackburn, Plymouth and Celtic are the selections, the payout is an ample 12/1.



Weekend Betting:


Middlesbrough v Man Utd Saturday 10th March 17:30 Live on BBC

Middlesbrough 5/1
Draw 13/5
Man Utd 3/4

Get on: Man Utd

Match Special:
Ronaldo to score with a header 8/1

Chelsea v Tottenham Sunday 11th March 12:45 Live on BBC One

Chelsea 4/9
Draw 3/1
Tottenham 7/1

Get on: Chelsea

Match Special:
Lampard to score from outside the penalty area 4/1

Blackburn v Man City Sunday 11th March 16:00 Live on Sky

Blackburn 19/20
Draw 23/10
Man City 10/3

Get on: Blackburn

Match Special:
Blackburn to win and keep a clean sheet 2/1

Plymouth v Watford Sunday 11th March 18:00 Live on BBC One

Plymouth 17/10
Draw 23/10
Watford 8/5

Get on: Plymouth

Match Special:
Plymouth to score three or more goals 11/2


Celtic v Rangers Sunday 11th March 12:30 Live on Setanta

Celtic 21/20
Draw 23/10
Rangers 10/3

Get on: Celtic

Match Special:
Nakamura to score direct from a free kick 8/1




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