Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sat 29th to Mon 31st October 2005.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
The pen is mightier than the sword, but definitely not in the hands of a Frenchman. As a result of Arsenals hilarious spot-kick, Thierry Henry is now responsible for the remainder of the Gunners penalties. The showboat capsized spectacularly, but its the bookies that will be turned over; back the French genius to be top Premiership goal scorer at 4/1.
Arsenals visit to Tottenham is the highlight of the weekend coupon, the Gunners won 5-4 on their last visit to the Lane (I think I tipped up 5-3), and another potential cracker is on the cards. Arsenal were as short as 8/15 for the thriller last season; with Edgar Davids unavailable due to suspension and 6/4 on offer for the Gunners, Arsenal are the nap of the week.
Like all housewives, the Mrs. has a cushy life. But after long research, Ive discovered an occupation thats even easier than watching TV and eating chocolate all day. The West Ham defenders have the cushiest job in the country this weekend, even easier than being Robbie Savages fan mail opener.
Anton Ferdinand & Co have the simple task of marking Peter Crouch. Its now 13 games without a goal for the beanpole striker, although unconfirmed reports suggest that he hit a post in training 2 months ago. We have to go back to 1963 to find the last time West Ham won at Anfield (I think Teddy Sheringham scored the winner), but the Hammers can be confident of a clean sheet in this one; back the goalless draw at 8/1.
Man City and Aston Villa both like to play football, and luckily for them, they meet in a football match on Monday night. City are in scintillating form on their own patch and have hammered the Villa in this fixture for the last three seasons. The 4/5 on offer for Man City should be treated like a jam doughnut in the presence of Wayne Rooney; it should be dived on before it disappears.
If you think that under/over 2.5 is the spread on the amount of goals Peter Crouch will score this season, youre only partially correct, its also one of the most popular bets on a football match. For the uninitiated, under = 2 goals or less, over = 3 goals or more. The match between Birmingham and Everton is a no brain under; its as close as you can get to a certainty without finding Jordans telephone number. 6 of the last 8 Birmingham matches have gone under and its 9 out of the last 10 for Everton. You can back unders at 4/7 in this match, and thats similar to printing your own money, only a lot more legal. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, in fact, just stay away from Van Nistelrooy altogether.
West Brom are rock bottom of the recent form table (8 matches), making Newcastle a great bet at a whopping 5/4. Emre looks an unusually superb signing from Graeme Souness; his left foot is an absolute peach, which makes him a plum bet to bag a pair against the Baggies, get on at 20/1.
The following mixed bag of specials are all available at Super Soccer.
Robben Hood Arjen Robben to score with a header 13/2
Claude it back Makelele to score the last goal 33/1
In Denial Mido to be sent off 25/1
Crouch a tiger, Did a dragon Crouch and Drogba both to score 9/2
Helmet Cole Andy Cole to score with a header 9/2
Killing me softly, with Boumsong Boumsong to score at any time 10/1
Quote of the week:
You know why they (Arsenal) took the penalty like that? They have so many penalties in a season; they had to do something different.
Jose Mourinho is a genius.
Stat, youre a liberty:
Peter Crouch is not the tallest player to have graced the Premiership, Portsmouth goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias stood a centimetre taller.
Acc of the week:
Wigan, Arsenal, Sunderland, Newcastle, Man City
The five-fold pays a whopping 42/1, and will definitely* win.
* = probably will not.
Wigan v Fulham Saturday 29th October 12.45 Live on Premiership Plus
Get on: Wigan
Fulham havent won away from home this season, the Latics are flying. Home win.
Match Special: Wigan to win 2-1 15/2
Tottenham v Arsenal Saturday 29th October 13.00
Get on: Arsenal
The Gunners are unbeaten against Tottenham this century, get stuck into the 6/4.
Match Special: Arsenal to score three or more goals 5/1
Birmingham v Everton Saturday 29th October 15.00
Get on: Draw
Neither team can afford to lose, its a goalless draw.
Match Special: No Goalscorer in the match 15/2
Charlton v Bolton Saturday 29th October 15.00
Get on: Bolton
Bolton have never lost at the Valley in the Premiership. Charlton are imperious away, average at home. 5/2 spells value.
Match Special: Bolton to win 2-1 12/1
Chelsea v Blackburn Saturday 29th October 15.00
Get on: Chelsea
Chelsea were knocked out of the League cup in midweek, Blackburn will feel the backlash. This finished 4-0 to Chelsea last season, a repeat could well be on the cards.
Match Special: Chelsea to win 4-0 8/1
Liverpool v West Ham Saturday 29th October 15.00
West Ham 5/1
Get on: Draw
Liverpool can not be backed at 8/15, just say no.
Match Special: No Goalscorer in the match 8/1
Sunderland v Portsmouth Saturday 29th October 15.00
Get on: Sunderland
The Mackems are unbeaten in 10 games against Pompey, that mythical home win is finally in sight.
Match Special: Stephen Elliott to score two or more goals 13/2
Middlesbrough v Man Utd Saturday 29th October 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus
Man Utd 4/6
Get on: Man Utd
United have won 6 of their last 7 league matches at the Riverside, Man U are a tentative pick.
Match Special: Rooney and Van Nistelrooy both to score 11/2
West Brom v Newcastle Sunday 30th October 16.00 Live on Sky
West Brom 7/4
Get on: Newcastle
A team on the up plays a team on the way down. Its an away win.
Match Special: Newcastle to keep a clean sheet 7/4
Man City v Aston Villa Monday 31st October 20.00 Live on Sky
Man City 4/5
Aston Villa 3/1
Get on: Man City
City have bossed this fixture for the last three seasons, winning 2-0, 4-1 and 3-1 respectively. Nil points for the Villa again, if only they could play Birmingham each week.
Match Special: Man City to score in both halves 7/4