Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sat 23rd to Mon 25th April 2005.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
Even a betting genius can occasionally be perplexed by difficult questions. If a tree fell in the middle of a forest, and my Mrs was not there to hear it, would it still be my fault? If one hand clapping does not make a sound, is there ever any noise at St Andrews? Why is Robbie Earnshaw left on the bench?
The Albion are fighting relegation, yet Bryan Robson leaves his only goal threat out of the starting eleven. Geoff Horsfield does have the ability to hold the ball up well, but he's not a Premiership goal scorer, he's not even a Championship goal scorer. In fact, he would find it difficult to score in Essex with a Lamborghini, which he probably owns due to the fact that managers continually play him in the Premiership ahead of quality strikers like Earnshaw. You must back the Boro to keep a clean sheet, an 11/10 shot at Betfred.
Milan Mandaric's desire to appoint a British manager with Premiership experience led to the appointment of Alain Perrin, and surprisingly, his decision appears to be sound. The South Coast derby is the match of the weekend, and if you're thinking what I'm thinking, you'll get on the draw, a 9/4 shot at Coral.
Man United's off the field distractions continue. Rio Ferdinand and Peter Kenyon are best friends, Gary Neville tried to decapitate a Scouser with a football and Wayne Rooney could lose up to £10 million in sponsorship deals after an alleged dust up with Coleen. (Rio Ferdinand would have to work for almost three months to earn a similar amount.) If you believe Man U could slip up as a result of these side issues, you can back the Geordies with Coral at 15/2.
As Saturday is St George's Day, the bookies have created plenty of specials. The following 25 * are all available at Super Soccer:
* = In betting circles, 25 = a pony **
** = In footballing circles, a pony = Emile Heskey
"St George's Day" - Boateng to score two or more goals 40/1
"Booking 'em Palace" - Crystal Palace to have four or more players booked 11/2
"Fish and Chips" - Mark Fish and Mikel Arteta both to score 80/1
"Doug Lee Zeeuw" - Freedman, Hendrie and De Zeeuw all to score 200/1
"Sutton Cole Field" - Chris Sutton, Andy Cole and Geoff Horsfield all to score 66/1
"Emile Lamp Stead" - Heskey, Lampard and Stead all to score 25/1
"Al Ton Towers" - Shearer, Rooney and Crouch all to score 18/1
"Silva Stone" - Gilberto and Steve Stone both to score 40/1
"Stan Stead" - Lazaridis and Stead both to score 20/1
"War Rick Hassle" - Stephen Warnock or Michael Carrick to be sent off 33/1
"Yorkshire Pudding" - Alan Smith to be sent off 20/1
"Big Ben" - Tal Ben Haim to score with a header 33/1
"Lankyshire" - Crouch to score with a header 5/1
"The Fab Four" - Fabregas to score in a 4-0 Arsenal win 80/1
"Ascot" - Duncan Ferguson to score the last goal 6/1
"Born Mouth" - Rooney to be booked for dissent 10/1
"The Rolling Stones" - Rooney to be booked for diving 33/1
"Eton" - Rooney to score two or more goals 7/2
"The Oval" - Rooney to score a hat-trick 16/1
"Bath" - Robbie Savage to be sent off 40/1
"Canary fourth" - Norwich and Everton both to win 3/1
"Canter Bury" - Bury to score three or more goals 9/2
"Royle Mint" - Ipswich to score three or more goals 9/2
"Greater Manchester" - City to score more goals than United 10/3
"Angel of the Nought" - Juan Pablo Angel not to score 1/2
Quote of the week:
"Rio deserves a deal worthy of 'the best defender in the World'.
Why would Rio's agent mention Paolo Maldini?
Imaginary conversation of the week 1:
David O'Leary - "I fancy Berger."
Wayne Rooney - "Get me five."
David O'Leary - "To replace Hitz."
Coleen McLoughlin - "Thanks Dave."
Imaginary conversation of the week 2:
'Sugary' Rob McCaffrey - "Welcome back after your ban."
Lee Bowyer - "I'm glad to be back."
'Sugary' Rob McCaffrey - "Will you be starting against Man U."
Lee Bowyer - "It depends if the **** passes or not."
Special bet of the week:
"Harry's Son's Scored" - Jamie Redknapp to score at anytime 11/2 @ Super Soccer
X Files moment of the week:
I'm not God and I don't believe in magic, but if you're afraid of the Supernatural you should look away now. After making "Harry's Son's Scored" the special of the week, I discovered the following. The letters that make up 'Pompey v Saints' can be rearranged to create, 'My son's a VIP pet'. Is this conclusive proof that there are forces beyond mortal comprehension in play, or merely a rather dull coincidence? I'll let you be the judge.
Norwich: the Canaries have seen off Newcastle and Man Utd recently; an out of form Charlton will be easy pickings. Get on at 11/8 with Ladbrokes.
Everton, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Portsmouth to draw, Man Utd
The five fold pays over 30/1 with Ladbrokes.
Everton v Birmingham Saturday 23rd April 12.30
Everton 4/6 BET 365
Draw 13/5 Sportingbet
Birmingham 9/2 Skybet
Get on: Everton
The year 1957 saw the death of Humphrey Bogart and the last Birmingham victory at Goodison. There's more chance of Bogey coming back to life than there is of Everton losing this one.
Match Special: "Jailhouse Rock" - Pennant to score two or more goals 33/1 @ Super Soccer
Chelsea v Fulham Saturday 23rd April 12.45 Live on Sky
Chelsea 2/7 Paddy Power
Draw 5/1 VC Bet
Fulham 12/1 BET 365
Get on: Chelsea
Fulham haven't won at Chelsea since 1979, the year Michael Jackson released 'Off the Wall'. Expect Chelsea to win a thriller.
Match Special: Chelsea to win 4-2 66/1 @ Totesport
Aston Villa v Bolton Saturday 23rd April 15.00
Aston Villa 11/8 Boylesports
Draw 12/5 Super Soccer
Bolton 2/1 BET 365
Get on: Draw
Bolton recorded their last victory at Villa Park in 1998, the same year that David Beckham was sent off against Argentina. Like Becks; Bolton have had their fair share of knockers, and neither are going to Loos.
Match Special: Half time Bolton, Full time Draw 16/1 @ BET 365
Blackburn v Man City Saturday 23rd April 15.00
Blackburn 13/10 BET 365
Draw 23/10 Sportingbet
Man City 11/5 Stan James
Get on: Draw
The last two matches between City and Blackburn have ended 1-1. The Rovers' kicking machine will generate another point.
Match Special: Man City to score a penalty 15/2 @ Betfred
Crystal Palace v Liverpool Saturday 23rd April 15.00
Crystal Palace 11/4 BET 365
Draw 13/5 Super Soccer
Liverpool Evs Coral
Get on: Draw
Palace scored twice at Anfield earlier in the season, but a last minute Baros winner earned the 'Pool all three points. The Eagles will gain a modicum of revenge in a score draw.
Match Special: Hyypia to score at anytime 17/2 @ Coral
Middlesbrough v West Brom Saturday 23rd April 15.00
Middlesbrough Evs Ladbrokes
Draw 5/2 Totesport
West Brom 10/3 Skybet
Get on: Middlesbrough
The last time Albion won away at Boro, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister. The Tories and the Baggies have something else in common; they're both going down in May.
Match Special: Middlesbrough to keep a clean sheet 11/10 @ Betfred
Norwich v Charlton Saturday 23rd April 15.00
Norwich 11/8 Ladbrokes
Draw 12/5 Super Soccer
Charlton 2/1 BET 365
Get on: Norwich
Norwich were mullered 4-0 earlier in the season by Charlton; they need to win this one, and will.
Match Special: Norwich to score in both halves 11/4 @ Betfred
Portsmouth v Southampton Sunday 24th April 12.00 Live on PPV
Portsmouth 5/4 Super Soccer
Draw 9/4 Coral
Southampton 11/5 Stan James
Get on: Draw
The South-Coast rivals have already met twice this season, with the Saints winning both matches 2-1. Harry's would love all three points again, but will have to settle for one.
Match Special: Jamie Redknapp to score at any time 11/2 @ Super Soccer
Man Utd v Newcastle Sunday 24th April 16.05 Live on Sky
Man Utd 4/11 BET 365
Draw 7/2 Ladbrokes
Newcastle 15/2 Coral
Get on: Man Utd
Roy Keane was four months old the last time Newcastle won at Old Trafford, apparently he crawled to the telly to mouth off at the ref. Home win.
Match Special: Roy Keane to score the first goal 25/1 @ Skybet
Arsenal v Tottenham Monday 25th April 20.00 Live on Sky
Arsenal 8/15 Super Soccer
Draw 11/4 Sportingbet
Tottenham 6/1 BET 365
Get on: Arsenal
Arsenal memorably won a 5-4 thriller at White Hart Lane this season; i think I tipped up the correct score.
Match Special: Arsenal to score four or more goals 6/1 @ Super Soccer