Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sat 1st to Tues 4th April 2006.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
I often panic over nothing. When the wife trapped me into producing little gambling gurus, i did worry that they may end up with my intelligence and the wifes looks, which would have narrowed down their future career prospects to circus attraction. Luckily, theyve ended up with the wifes brain, and curiously, the milkmans looks. I say curious, as the wife and I are lactose intolerant; we have absolutely no time for lactose, and were not shy in speaking of our displeasure.
I bring this to your attention because little Goliath is quite bright; hes trying to remember animals by associating them with football. Whenever Ruud Van Nistelrooy comes off the bench for Man U, he shouts horsey, as Peter Crouch heads wide he cries donkey and when Chelsea are playing, he shakes his head and murmurs cheetahs. It seems that everyone has cottoned on to Chelseas lack of sportsmanship, referees will be next. Any Chelsea player to be booked for diving / simulation against Birmingham is an 11/2 shot.
Amongst all the theatrics, there will also be a game of football. Youve got to fancy Chelsea to take three points home from St Andrews, but 1/3 does not represent value. Playing the correct scores can solve this conundrum; Chelsea to win either 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 is a 5/4 shot; now were cooking.
Phil Neville scored a beauty last week, unfortunately, it was an own goal, against Liverpool. His brother must have been literally seething. Everton are the lucky beneficiaries of a home fixture against Sunderland; theyre 3/10, certainties doesnt really cover it. You cant get rich backing Everton, so taking an interest in a bookings market may prove to be a profitable play. Duncan Ferguson is a fearsome character, like Jason Donovan, hes done a little bird in the past. Big Dunc took only nine minutes to find his name in the book last week in the Merseyside derby; hes a 7/2 shot to have his name taken again.
Boltons Reebok stadium is a genuine fortress, but Manchester United have a tasty army. Wayne Rooney missed a couple of golden chances against Birmingham last week (If they were chicken legs, he would have put them away), but remains a class act. A rested Van Nistelrooy is back in favour and the talented wobbly-legged Ronaldo has already helped himself to a pair against Bolton earlier in the season. United are available at 10/11, its time to go to war.
Unfortunately for Villa fans, Milan Baros has a get-out clause in his contract that can be triggered if a bid is received for £7 million pound or more, virtually ruling out a potential transfer. The poster declaring Were not fickle, we just dont like you sums up the supporters frustration towards OLearys inability to motivate; an Aston Villa divided amongst itself can not possibly survive at Highbury. Arsenal may rest a couple of players with one eye on Wednesdays 2nd leg against Juventus, but in all honesty, Id back Arsenals reserves at 2/7 at home to the Villa.
Jermaine Jenas didnt enjoy his time at Newcastle, he compared his time there to living in a goldfish bowl. On a related note, its a fallacy that goldfish only have a memory span of a few seconds, Rio Ferdinand may have, but thats a different kettle of fish. JJ is set for another disappointing trip to the North East, Spurs will have to settle for a draw, an 11/5 shot.
Its been said that Middlesbroughs Emanuel Pogatetz could start a ruck in an empty room, and still finish runner up; but dont tell him who said it. The Austrian defender has either been booked or saw red in 14 matches this season, its 6/4 that he sees another card when he faces Joey Barton and Co. Man City have been depleted by injuries and suspensions, the Boro are the weekend nap at 11/4.
The weekend specials:
Two halves at the Rovers - Blackburn to score in both halves 2/1
Come in handy - Drogba to score two or more goals 4/1
Cruising - Stelios to score at any time 5/2
April, Pool's day - Liverpool to win with a clean sheet 6/5
April, Mule's day - Van Nistelrooy to score two or more goals 5/1
Quote of the week:
Sometimes I dive, sometimes I stand.
Drogbas half right.
Stat, youre a liberty:
If Bolton had held on to win all the matches where they had taken a lead, they would be 2nd in the Premiership.
Acc of the week:
Man Utd, Fulham, Liverpool and Middlesbrough tick all the right boxes, an acc on all four will pay 18/1.
Birmingham v Chelsea Saturday 1st April 12.45 Live on Premiership Plus
Get on: Chelsea
Birmingham have lost their last three without scoring; Chelsea have won their last three without conceding. Historically, Birmingham havent beaten Chelsea since the 70s. There is no argument for a home win.
Match Special: Chelsea to win 2-0 11/2
Arsenal v Aston Villa Saturday 1st April 15.00
Aston Villa 8/1
Get on: Arsenal
The Gunners have won their last three in the league; the Villa have earned one point out of 12.
Match Special: Arsenal to win with a clean sheet 4/5
Bolton v Man Utd Saturday 1st April 15.00
Man Utd 10/11
Get on: Man Utd
Bolton have conceded 10 goals in 5 games; United have won six on the bounce.
Match Special: Rooney to score two or more goals 11/2
Everton v Sunderland Saturday 1st April 15.00
Get on: Everton
Everton have won their last four at Goodison Park; Sunderland have lost their last six away from home. Everton have beaten Sunderland on the last five occasions they have met.
Match Special: Beattie to score with a header 7/2
Fulham v Portsmouth Saturday 1st April 15.00
Get on: Fulham
In the Premiership, Fulham have won five of their last six at home, while Portsmouth have lost five of their last six away. Pompey have lost on their last four visits to the Cottage.
Match Special: Malbranque to score at any time 3/1
Newcastle v Tottenham Saturday 1st April 15.00
Get on: Draw
Newcastle have lost their last four, but its two wins out of three at St James Park. Tottenham have won three of their last four, but its only one win in five on the road. An interesting stat, this fixture has always produced a positive result this century, the draws due.
Match Special: HT Newcastle FT Draw 14/1
West Brom v Liverpool Saturday 1st April 17.15 Live on Premiership Plus
West Brom 9/2
Get on: Liverpool
Its six games without a win for the Albion; Liverpool have won their last four, scoring 18 goals. The Pool have won their last nine matches against West Brom, including two 5-0s and a 6-0. Ouch.
Liverpool to score four or more goals 6/1
Man City v Middlesbrough Sunday 2nd April 15.00
Man City 5/6
Get on: Middlesbrough
Man City have lost their last three; Boro have scored 13 goals in their last six league matches, winning four of them. City have never beaten the Boro at home in the Premiership.
Match Special: Middlesbrough to score two or more goals 5/2
West Ham v Charlton Sunday 2nd April 16.00 Live on Sky
West Ham 10/11
Get on: West Ham
The Hammers have scored two goals or more in their last seven matches at Upton Park; Charlton havent won a league match on their travels since October.
Match Special: West Ham to score three or more goals 7/2
Blackburn v Wigan Monday 3rd April 20.00 Live on Sky
Get on: Blackburn
Wigan have only won 2 of their last 11 matches, and they were against Sunderland and a weakened Man City. Blackburn have won their last three, theyre charging towards Europe.
Match Special: Craig Bellamy to score at any time 5/4