Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sun 15th May 2005.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
The last day of the football season always reminds me of my first date with the Mrs. After 90 minutes, ups and downs are guaranteed. The relegation battle is officially the tightest in Premiership history. A Norwich win at the Cottage will guarantee Premiership football next season, but that's far from a formality. The Canaries have not won away from home all season, and Fulham (unlike my Mrs) won't lie down easily. Back the Cottagers at an over-priced 2/1 with Sportingbet.
Man United have dropped points against Norwich, Crystal Palace and West Brom in recent weeks, and Sir Alex is not a happy bunny. He even changed the shape of his team last week; Kleberson, Fortune and Phil Neville all played in a ground-breaking 'Useless Tree' formation. Harry's smile turned to a frown in midweek though, an Fergie recalled all his star names. Can you remember the last time United were 7/4 to beat Southampton?
As Charlton have been easier to whip than the Tories in recent weeks, Crystal Palace can be confident of leaving the Valley with three points and their Premiership status intact. You can back Palace to win the match at 11/8 with Totesport, or you can take the 5/2 that Paddy Power offer about Dowie's battlers not to be relegated.
West Brom have a mathematical chance of avoiding the drop, but they need all three of their rivals to fail to win. There is more chance of Bryan Robson asking Terry Venables to coach the team than there is of that scenario coming to fruition. For all you mad boinging yam-yams, VC Bet offer 11/2 about the Baggies staying up, but it's simply wasting money.
The title race is over, as is the war for four. The only other issue to be resolved is the fight for the final UEFA Cup place. Man City should be backed at 5/4 with Super Soccer to take the 'Psycho path' to Europe.
Poker Watch: They say that poker is the new football, and Helen Chamberlain's appearance on Poker Million backs this up. She started off unusually tight, but a nice hand soon ensured Phil Taylor met a sticky end. When Barry Hearn saw a big pair, a raise was inevitable. She made a move, and Barry showed the nuts. Helen was a big dog, but unusually, she refused to lay down. Not for the first time, Hells Bells copped for a four on the river. Jesse May summed it up perfectly; a bicycle beats two queens. Easy, easy, easy.
Quote of the week:
"I'd have been happy coming second."
Helen Chamberlain tells a familiar tale.
Motto of the week:
Jesse May, but Helen does.
Certainty of the week:
Footballing certainty of the week:
Crystal Palace: Palace have to win, Charlton can't win. Anybody for 11/8?
Acc of the week:
Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Man City, Man Utd
The five fold pays over 70/1 with BET 365
Birmingham v Arsenal Sunday 15th May 15.00
Draw 5/2 Stanleybet
Arsenal 11/10 BET 365
Get on: Arsenal
Arsenal are averaging 3.5 goals a game at St Andrew's since the Blues rejoined the Premier League, but in Birmingham's defence, they're not chokers, they're just not very good at football.
Match Special: Arsenal to win 4-0 66/1 @ BET 365
Bolton v Everton Sunday 15th May 15.00
Bolton 6/5 Super Soccer
Draw 12/5 Coral
Get on: Draw
A UEFA Cup team hosts a Champions League team, that'll be a draw then.
Match Special: Steve Watson to score with a header 20/1 @ Betfred
Charlton v Crystal Palace Sunday 15th May 15.00
Charlton 2/1 BET 365
Draw 13/5 Super Soccer
Crystal Palace 11/8 Totesport
>Get on: Crystal Palace
Palace won at the Valley earlier in the season when Charlton were playing quite well; they're awful now. Away win.
Match Special: Crystal Palace to score in both halves 11/4 @ Betfred
Fulham v Norwich Sunday 15th May 15.00
Fulham 2/1 Sportingbet
Draw 13/5 Super Soccer
Norwich 11/8 Coral
Get on: Fulham
Norwich are the only team in the League yet to win on the road, the Championship is in view.
Match Special: Malbranque to score the first goal 16/1 @ BET 365
Liverpool v Aston Villa Sunday 15th May 15.00
Liverpool 7/10 William Hill
Draw 5/2 Skybet
Aston Villa 9/2 Bet Direct
Get on: Draw
It's strange to describe the Champions League finalists as 'out of form', but one League win in six is compelling evidence. Villa aren't playing well either; score draw.
Match Special: Aston Villa to win or draw 6/5 @ Betfred
Man City v Middlesbrough Sunday 15th May 15.00
Man City 11/10 Stan James
Draw 9/4 Skybet
Middlesbrough 3/1 Bet Direct
Get on: Man City
It's seven without defeat for Man City; Europe awaits.
Match Special: Three or more goals in the match Evs @ Stan James
Newcastle v Chelsea Sunday 15th May 15.00
Draw 12/5 Coral
Chelsea 5/4 Skybet
Get on: Chelsea
The Geordies are one of the few teams to have registered a victory over Chelsea this season, Mourinho won't like that.
Match Special: Chelsea to score four or more goals 9/1 @ Betfred
Southampton v Man Utd Sunday 15th May 15.00
Southampton 11/8 Boylesports
Draw 11/4 Sportingbet
Man Utd 7/4
Get on: Man Utd
United have Southampton's number; they've hammered them twice this season, 3-0 and 4-0 respectively. And it's goodbye from Harry.
Match Special: Van Nistelrooy to score the first goal 11/2 @ Stanleybet
Tottenham v Blackburn Sunday 15th May 15.00
Draw 13/5 William Hill
Blackburn 11/2 BET 365
Get on: Tottenham
Spurs need a miracle to hijack the 7th spot, they need to beat Blackburn by at least three clear goals and hope other results go their way. In layman terms, the only way they'll be in Europe next season is if Bolton or Man City hand out a few spare tickets.
Match Special: Tottenham to win from behind 7/1 @ Betfred
West Brom v Portsmouth Sunday 15th May 15.00
West Brom 4/6 Stan James
Draw 11/4 BET 365
Portsmouth 5/1 Boylesports
Get on: West Brom
The last time Pompey visited the Hawthorns, they lost 5-0. The Albion will hammer them again, but it will be a hollow victory.
Match Special: West Brom to win 5-0 80/1 @ Stan James