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Weekend Football

by Ben, last updated 2006-03-08 22:42:22

 Gerry's Picks

 By Gerry McDonnell

José, can you see? (The star-mangled spanner)


I have a confession for you all; I’m in the middle of a bad run. After narrowly losing out in the award for ‘Sports journalist of the year’, i was surprisingly pipped at the post for the ‘Gambling personality of the year’ gong. I’ve now discovered that i didn’t even make the top three in the wife’s ‘Best lover of the year’ category, although to be fair, I was runner up in 2003. It could be worse though, I could be José Mourinho.

Chelsea have had a week from hell; Arjen Robben has been banned for four games following a horrific attack on Jonathan Greening, where he flew through the air like a crazed ninja with legs well and truly akimbo. John Terry has been chastised by the press for consistently leading a lynch mob to surround referees, Barcelona strolled to Champions League qualification, and now FIFA have announced that two referees per match is a consideration; presumably, one to keep an eye on the always theatrical Didier Drogba. A bad run attracts an even worse run, Tottenham can snatch a draw at the Bridge, get on at 11/4.

There’s an old Chinese saying, ‘If the purple nosed jockey wants to win the big race, he shouldn’t swap a horse for a donkey.’ For some reason, this makes me think of the Van Nistelrooy / Louis Saha situation at Man Utd. If the rumour mill is correct and Ruud is on his way out of Old Trafford, the betting opportunities are almost endless. Back Newcastle today at 13/2; get on Thierry Henry to win the Golden Boot at 13/8 and pile on Liverpool to finish runners up at 2/1. Call me a mad conspiracy theorist, but I’ve put two and two together; i’ve got a tutu.

As a result of Mick McCarthy receiving his P45, Sunderland are now a viable bet to see off Wigan at the Stadium of Light. The scientifically proven phenomenon of ‘replaced manager syndrome’ will undoubtedly come to the fore. An improved Sunderland performance is an absolute Shay; get on at 7/4.

If / when Portsmouth are relegated, Harry Redknapp will receive the honour of being the first manager to relegate different teams from the Premiership in successive seasons. A quite remarkable achievement; who said that Harry had lost his magic? Madman Joey Barton returns for Man City, as will their form on the road; City are a confident call at 11/8.

At first glance, ‘Robbie Savage’s excellent record’ would appear to be a contradiction in terms, much like ‘Chelsea sportsmanship’ or ‘Soccer AM - The best bits’. But incredibly, the blonde bombshell has only been on the losing side once in 18 matches against Aston Villa. That stat’s impressive, but so are Villa away from home. O’Leary has an honest bunch of lads; they should be backed at 9/4 to take a point home from Blackburn.

Jasper Carrott and Frank Skinner will be glued to Soccer Saturday when Birmingham host West Brom in an old fashioned six pointer; although there’s nothing funny about relegation from the Premiership, or Frank Skinner. Birmingham are the better team, they have home advantage, even money is a little treat.

The weekend specials:

"The crying Dutchman" - Van Nistelrooy not to score 5/6
"The Beat goes on" - James Beattie to score two or more goals 5/1
"Brom disposal" - Birmingham to score three or more goals 4/1
"A high roller" - Drogba to score with a header 9/2

Quote of the week:

"I don’t think so; Barcelona could not beat us 11 v 11."
The deluded José Mourinho, responding to the question, "Did the better team qualify?"

Stat, you’re a liberty:

If Fulham could replicate their home form on the road, they would be Chelsea’s closest challengers.

Acc of the week:

Birmingham, Everton, Man City and Arsenal form the weekend accer. It’s so cute, you could take it home to meet your mother; it pays out at 17/1.

Weekend Betting:

Birmingham v West Brom Saturday 11th March 12.00

Birmingham Evs
Draw 9/4
West Brom 9/4

Get on: Birmingham

Blues have won every Premiership match against the Baggies at St Andrew’s, and won 3-2 at the Hawthorns earlier in the season. City have won two of the last three by a goal to nil, a trend that looks set to continue against the out of form Baggies.
Match Special:
Birmingham to win 1-0 6/1

Chelsea v Tottenham Saturday 11th March 12.45 Live on Premiership Plus

Chelsea 4/9
Draw 11/4
Tottenham 11/2

Get on: Draw

Chelsea have only won 5 of their last 11; Tottenham are undefeated in four. This is not the formality that 4/9 would suggest.
Match Special:
Match to finish 1-1 13/2

Bolton v West Ham Saturday 11th March 15.00

Bolton Evs
Draw 9/4
West Ham 9/4

Get on: Draw

This is the 4th instalment of a 5 match extravaganza between West Ham and Bolton this season; Big Sam’s men are currently 2-1-0. It finished 0-0 in the FA Cup at the Reebok a couple of weeks back, a repeat can not be ruled out.
Match Special:
No goal scorer in the match 8/1

Everton v Fulham Saturday 11th March 15.00

Everton 8/11
Draw 9/4
Fulham 10/3

Get on: Everton

A great stat in this fixture, every time they’ve met in the Premiership (9 times), the home team has emerged victorious. Fulham have never won a league match at Goodison Park in 55 years (on and off) of trying. Everton have won four of the last five at Goodison 1-0, I rest my case.
Match Special:
Everton to win 1-0 6/1

Portsmouth v Man City Saturday 11th March 15.00

Portsmouth 13/8
Draw 11/5
Man City 11/8

Get on: Man City

Harry’s men have only picked up 1 point out of a possible 24, they’re going down. City have won their last three against Pompey, it’s about to become four.
Match Special:
Man City to score three or more goals 5/1

Sunderland v Wigan Saturday 11th March 15.00

Sunderland 7/4
Draw 9/4
Wigan 5/4

Get on: Sunderland

Wigan’s winless run has now reached nine games; Sunderland’s caretaker manager Kevin Ball couldn’t have picked a better match to open his account, apart from Portsmouth at home, or West Brom at home.
Match Special:
Sunderland to keep a clean sheet 2/1

Blackburn v Aston Villa Saturday 11th March 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus

Blackburn 8/11
Draw 9/4
Aston Villa 10/3

Get on: Draw

It’s three consecutive home wins for Blackburn; the Villa haven’t tasted defeat on the road for four months. That’ll be a draw then.
Match Special:
Match to finish 2-2 14/1

Man Utd v Newcastle Sunday 12th March 13.30 Live on Sky

Man Utd 2/5
Draw 11/4
Newcastle 13/2

Get on: Newcastle

Man U looked far from comfortable last time out at the JJB, a 2-1 win was daylight robbery. It’s five wins out of six for the Toon Army, I’ve seen worse 13/2 shots.
Match Special:
Emre or Solano to score at any time 15/8

Charlton v Middlesbrough Sunday 12th March 15.00

Charlton 10/11
Draw 9/4
Middlesbrough 5/2

Get on: Draw

Charlton’s last three games have finished goalless; Boro have either kept a clean sheet or failed to score in eight of their last nine games. 4 of the last 10 between these two have finished goalless, you can rule out a 4-4 draw.
Match Special:
No Goalscorer in the match 8/1

Arsenal v Liverpool Sunday 12th March 16.00 Live on Sky

Arsenal 6/5
Draw 11/5
Liverpool 15/8

Get on: Arsenal

Liverpool are not performing away from home, it’s four defeats from their last six on the road. Arsenal have won this fixture convincingly for the last couple of seasons, 3-1 and 4-2. One goal should be enough for the Gunners to take the points in this one.
Match Special:
Arsenal to win 1-0 6/1

Bet with bluesquare



 Nigels Picks

 by Nigel Ridgeway

PROFIT FROM LOW-SCORING AFFAIRS
Man United v Newcastle
Su Mar 12 - 1.30 pm ko - (SS1)
After looking like relegation candidates, Newcastle have been enjoying a revival under Glenn Roeder, but United (at 2/5) are fancied to end that run here. In the last 10 meetings between these two sides, the Red Devils have won eight times, and they currently have strength in depth that Newcastle must envy. In bet365's Total Goals market, the ‘over' price looks to be based on the fact that eight of the last ten matches between these two have resulted in three goals or more. However, Newcastle have conceded only one since Roeder took charge, so the value lies with backing the ‘under' at 10/11. Live betting available via our ‘In-Play' Console.

bet365's match prices - Man United 2/5, Newcastle 6/1, Draw 3/1


Arsenal v Liverpool
Su Mar 12 - 4.00 pm ko (SS1)
This could be another low-scoring affair, as it's hard to see Arsenal fashioning too many scoring opportunities against a team that which has kept a clean sheet in 19 Premiership games this season. At the same time, it's now 10 matches since Liverpool have scored more than one goal in any Premiership game, and their two goals at Bolton in January was the only time they've scored more than once away from Anfield. In our 90-minute market, Arsenal can be backed at 6/5, with Liverpool at 2/1 but, with goals at a premium, the pre-match value lies with the draw at 11/5, although there may be even more value in bet365's 14 dynamic In-Play markets.

bet365's match prices - Arsenal 6/5, Liverpool 2/1, Draw 11/5

Live Game Picks:

Man United @ 2/5 / ‘Under' 2.5 Goals @ 10/11
Arsenal to draw @ 11/5 / ‘Under' 2.5 Goals @ 4/7


R0VERS TOO GOOD FOR VILLAINS @ 4/5
United are a confident selection to go into our Premiership Acca this weekend, along with Blackburn (4/5), Charlton (Evens) and Everton (5/6). Blackburn were unlucky not to come away with a point (at least!) against Spurs last Sunday, and should return to winning ways here. Charlton are not obvious punting material taking on a resurgent Boro, but the Teesiders will surely have one eye on their UEFA Cup fixture next week, and the Addicks (who are unbeaten in five at the Valley) can take advantage of any lack of focus. Everton are a force to be reckoned with at home (won their last three), and they look a good bet to see off Fulham. The Cottagers have won nine of their last ten homes, but they continue to struggle away from home (just three draws in 14 games so far!). A £25 acca on our four selections pays out a tasty £242.55, which includes a bet365 Premiership Acca Bonus of 5% (up to 60% more every weekend).

Premiership Acca

4-fold on Man United (2/5), Blackburn (4/5), Charlton (Evens) and Everton
(5/6) - pays £242.55 (£25 stake) - which includes a bet365 bonus of 5%


Bet with bet365




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