Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sat 20th and Sun 21st August 2005.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
There's an old Chinese proverb that wisely states, 'Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day; give him twelve cans of lager, and he'll think that Chelsea are a decent bet at home to Arsenal.' The Champions must be opposed at home to their title rivals. At first glance, the sale of enforcer extraordinaire Vieira may put you off backing the Wenger boys, but surprisingly, Arsenal had a better record without him than with him last season. The Gunners are unbeaten against Chelsea over the last 10 years in the league and the Blues looked out of sorts against Wigan last week. Add all these factors together and the conclusion is clear; if you only have one bet this weekend, don't be so tight. Also, get on Arsenal at 7/2, the early contender for value bet of the season.
The aforementioned Wigan were incredibly unlucky last week, and have every chance of registering their first point of the season at the Valley. Charlton started the season with a convincing victory, but a pig wearing silk is still a pig. Odds of 4/1 about the away team may tempt, but the 5/2 about the draw is steam-in material. As there were more red cards than you could shake a twig at last week, the bookies are offering prices on whether there will be a sending off in any of the four live matches this weekend. Super Soccer believe it's almost a pick-em scenario; 11/10, one or more red cards; 4/6, none.
The return to our screens of Premiership football has inspired Super Soccer to create the following TV related specials for this weekend's action.
"Big Brother" - Gary or Phil Neville to score with a header 20/1
"One foot in the grave" - Sheringham to score with a header 7/1
"Only Fools and Horses" - Savage and Van Nistelrooy both to score 10/1
"The Big Breakfast" - Wayne Rooney to score two or more goals 4/1
"On The Buses" - Jermaine Pennant to score with a header 11/1
"Millionaire" - Rio Ferdinand to score with a header 20/1
"GM TV" - Gavin McCann to score two or more goals 66/1
"The Bill" - Gallas to score with a header 25/1
"Blue Peter" - Lovenkrands to score two or more goals 8/1
"Soccer AM" - Alan Mahon to score at anytime 5/1
"The Weakest Link" - Robbie Savage to be sent off 33/1
"Top Gear" - Steven Carr to score two or more goals 66/1
"Gimme Gimme Gimme" - Rio Ferdinand to score at any time 10/1
"The Two Ronnies" - Ronaldo to score two or more goals 13/2
"Red Dwarf" - Paul Scholes to score with a header 11/2
"Father Ted" - Sheringham to score two or more goals 8/1
"Men Behaving Badly" - Blackburn to have a man sent off 3/1
"Soap" - Robbie Savage to score at any time 9/2
"Porridge" - Jermaine Pennant to score two or more goals 14/1
"Absolutely Flabulous" - Wayne Rooney to score a hat-trick 14/1
Quote of the week:
"Steve Gerrard was awesome today, we thought at one stage he was heading his own crosses in."
Gareth Southgate gees up Stevie Gerrard
Surprise of the week: (Readers who are easily shocked, please look away now.)
Sky News Ticker: BREAKING NEWS: Ryan Giggs out of Wales squad for the International friendly against Slovenia.
Punters enemy of the week:
Middlesbrough. The decision to run down the clock and settle for a goalless draw at home to Liverpool last week was bordering on criminal. Make a mental note; keep Boro out of your accer.
Stat, you're a liberty:
The heaviest England International of all time is not Wayne Rooney; Willie Foulke weighed in at 22 stone, 2 pounds.
Acc of the week:
Man Utd, Liverpool, West Brom, Bolton, Arsenal
The five fold pays over 30/1 with Skybet
Man Utd v Aston Villa Saturday 20th August 12.45 Live on Premiership Plus
Man Utd 3/10 Premier Bet
Aston Villa 12/1 VC Bet
Get on: Man Utd
My spies tell me that Van Nistelrooy has looked sharp in training; as long as the going doesn't change, he could fill his boots against the Villa defence. United have won this fixture by three clear goals in the last two seasons. Home banker.
Match Special: Van Nistelrooy to score a hat-trick 16/1 @ Paddy Power
Blackburn v Fulham Saturday 20th August 15.00
Blackburn 11/10 Bet Direct
Draw 23/10 VC Bet
Fulham 3/1 VC Bet
Get on: Draw
An amazingly high scoring fixture historically. Across 20 years, three divisions and 16 matches there is an average of 3.3 goals a game. Dickov was sent off last week, it must be Savage's turn.
Match Special: Match to finish 2-2 14/1 @ Stan James
Charlton v Wigan Saturday 20th August 15.00
Charlton 5/6 Totesport
Draw 5/2 Ladbrokes
Wigan 4/1 Coral
Get on: Draw
Wigan have no points, no luck, the lowest average attendance in the Premiership and the Old Bill are allegedly tucking them up with policing charges. Wigan will have to fight for every point they earn, their first one comes at the Valley.
Match Special: No goalscorer in the match 10/1 @ Ladbrokes
Liverpool v Sunderland Saturday 20th August 15.00
Liverpool 1/3 Paddy Power
Draw 4/1 Ladbrokes
Sunderland 11/1 VC Bet
Get on: Liverpool
The good news: Sunderland's record at Anfield is excellent; they have only lost on one of their last five visits. The bad news: Sunderland have lost their last 16 Premiership matches. The conclusion: Stevie G will clear the ball off the line, score a hat-trick and possibly save the human race from extinction as Liverpool take all three points.
Match Special: Gerrard to score the first goal 11/2 @ BET 365
Newcastle v West Ham Saturday 20th August 15.00
Newcastle 7/10 William Hill
West Ham 5/1 Sportingbet
Get on: Draw
The Teddy boy will be 40 years old this season, but he's still a class act. Newcastle will expect to take all three points, but I predict that Alan Pardew will be celebrating a score draw, with a vintage Sheri.
Match Special: Sheringham to score at anytime 5/2 @ Paddy Power
Tottenham v Middlesbrough Saturday 20th August 15.00
Tottenham 10/11 BET 365
Draw 23/10 William Hill
Middlesbrough 7/2 Bet Direct
Get on: Tottenham
Tottenham are an entertaining team with quality strikers who play superb attacking football. Middlesbrough are a team from the North East of England.
Match Special: Defoe to score a hat-trick 25/1 @ Paddy Power
West Brom v Portsmouth Saturday 20th August 15.00
West Brom 6/5 Sportingbet
Draw 9/4 Super Soccer
Get on: West Brom
The Baggies have scored 12 goals in their last four home matches against Portsmouth, winning them all. Pompey are bottom of the table now, and early indications suggest that their final position will not be a great deal higher.
Match Special: Half time, Portsmouth; Full time, West Brom 28/1 @ Coral
Birmingham v Man City Saturday 20th August 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus
Birmingham 6/5 Super Soccer
Draw 9/4 Bet Direct
Man City 13/5
Get on: Draw
Man City have won nine of their last 12 matches against the Blues, but their strike force of Andy Cole and Darius Vassell look a little goal-shy. There's always a match that has goalless written all over it, and this my friends, is in capital letters.
Match Special: No Goalscorer in the match 17/2 @ William Hill
Bolton v Everton Sunday 21st August 13.30 Live on Sky
Bolton 5/4 Bet Direct
Draw 9/4 Super Soccer
Everton 13/5 BET 365
Get on: Bolton
Bolton won 3-2 in this fixture last season, and lost by the same scoreline at Goodison. Big Sam's men would have won another five goal thriller last week if it wasn't for a visually challenged assistant ref. Arsenal's the nap, Bolton are the next best bet.
Match Special: Bolton to win 3-2 28/1 @ Coral
Chelsea v Arsenal Sunday 21st August 16.00 Live on Sky
Chelsea Evs VC Bet
Draw 12/5 Skybet
Arsenal 7/2 Skybet
Get on: Arsenal
Chelsea have failed to record a league victory over Arsenal since 1995. According to an old person I know, in those days, you could go for a night on the town, pay for a taxi, buy cigarettes and a bungalow, and still have change from £1. The Gunners are the bet of the week.
Match Special: Chelsea not to score 11/4 @ Stan James