Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sat 14th to Mon 16th October 2006.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
Im not one to blow my own horn; in fact, I only ever whip my horn out on special occasions, such as a birthday, a Christmas party or a comical episode of Soccer AM. However, its with a genuine sense of pride that i speak of my recent charity work; Ive been heavily involved in raising awareness of lesbian issues via the medium of DVD.
A lot of my good work was undone when Paul Scholes allegedly made a homophobic remark to a referee. A spokesman for OutRage! may have quipped, The cheek of it; if anyone should respect minority groups, its a ginger. I have a theory that Wayne Rooneys poor recent form is a result of an infatuation with the carrot-topped midfielder. Lets look at the evidence; Rooneys slump began when Scholes returned to first team action; Wayne grew a camp ginger beard in some sort of bizarre homage to his hero, and if conclusive proof was still needed, Scholes is a well respected old pro; Rooney knows all about that. Should Sir Alex sell Scholes in order to get the best out of Rooney? Ill let the purple-nosed one decide. Should Man U be backed at 4/7 to see off a struggling Wigan? Definitely.
Rooney is understandably frustrated by his below par performances; Ive got a DVD that could help him out. It was a cheap shot for Rooney to blame the FA for his atrocious run, the staff at Fatties Anonymous are said to be devastated by this unfounded allegation. Rooneys an even money shot with the majority of the big boys to find the net this weekend, only the clinically insane will be on.
Glenn Hoddle labelled Didier Zokora a blatant cheat after he dived to seal a victory against Pompey, and if anyone knows about karma its the eccentric tambourine-banging former England manager. Spurs travel to Villa Park to play a team with a 100% home record; get on the Villa at 11/8.
Juan Pablo Angel should be backed at 13/2 to net the opener. I can exclusively reveal that the Colombian hitman has a surprise tactic up his sleeve; he plans to roll the ball gently towards goal.
Its been a horrific season for Pompeys Pedro Mendes. First, Gentle Ben Thatcher introduced him to his forearm; then he was an unwilling co-star in a Didier Zokora production. As West Ham are the latest visitors to Fratton Park, a change of luck is almost guaranteed for Pedro; a home win appeals at even money.
Thierry Henry is not only a great footballer, hes a gentleman. Im not sure how he persuaded his French team-mates to lie down against Scotland, but this charitable gesture proves the undoubted class of the man. The enigmatic genius looks back to his sublime best, hes even added heading to his already impressive repertoire. Henry has been priced up at 12/1 to score a hat-trick against Watford at the Emirates, thats bordering on appealing.
Van Persies also in fine nick, his volley against Charlton was the most talked about strike since mad Maggie tucked up the miners. Henry and Van Persie could potentially be the greatest double act since Skinner and Baddiel first watched Seinfeld and Costanza. You cant get rich backing Arsenal at 1/5 to see off the outgunned Watford, but who wants to be Paul McCartney?
Joey Barton was fined £2,000 this week for showing Everton fans his backside. The Scousers were quite rightly seething about Joeys full moon; if they wanted to see a hairy bum they would have logged on to robbiesavage.com. Everton are worth a punt at 9/5 to leave the Riverside with the win, a 1-0 scoreline is in play at 15/2 and under 2.5 goals in the game is a gimme at 4/6. (This match has had two goals or less on the last nine occasions.)
Fulham are the weekend nap at 11/10 at home to a moribund Charlton. The Addicks havent won at the Cottage for 20 years and have lost all of their matches on the road this season. Poor old Ian Dowie, it doesnt look pretty.
Frank Lampard had the barefaced cheek to suggest that England need two holding midfielders to accommodate him; presumably one to hold the burgers and the other to hold the fries. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has stated that hell continue to select misfiring striker Andriy Shevchenko until he scores; Reading definitely wont be on the end of a thumping. Backing Chelsea to win by either a 1-0 or a 2-0 scoreline looks a solid route to profit at 5/2.
Rafa Benitez changes his team more often than I have hot dinners. Actually, thats probably an unfair comparison; Heather Mills wins the triple jump more often than the wife ventures into the kitchen. The constant tinkering hasnt had a detrimental effect on performances though, Liverpool will see off Blackburn at 1/2. Rovers havent had a man sent off for eight games now; thats approaching a club record. Its no coincidence that their disciplinary problems have eased since offloading Craig Bellamy to Liverpool; they should be awarded the No Bell peace prize. Apologies. Bellamy may be a complete nause, but hes a decent footballer; hes almost nailed on at 9/2 to open the scoring against his former team-mates.
The acc of the week:
The accer this week is so conclusive, if Saddam Hussein introduced it as evidence in his trial, hed be immediately acquitted. Man Utd, Arsenal, Everton, Portsmouth and Fulham are the picks; the payout is a gargantuan 20/1.
The quote of the week:
We urge Paul Scholes to apologise and to express his opposition to homophobia. It might help him understand and appreciate gay issues if he visited Manchester's Gay Centre and Lesbian & Gay Foundation.
Would it not be easier to just read Ashley Coles autobiography? (He mentions how tough it was dealing with false accusations.)
The lay man:
Scientists believe that anything is possible; they obviously havent taken into consideration Charltons form away from home. Lay the Addicks at 3/1.
Wigan v Man Utd Saturday 14th October 12:45 Live on Sky
Man Utd 4/7
Get on: Man Utd
Match Special: Ronaldo to score at any time 15/8
Arsenal v Watford Saturday 14th October 15:00
Get on: Arsenal
Match Special: Henry and Van Persie both to score 3/1
Aston Villa v Tottenham Saturday 14th October 15:00
Aston Villa 11/8
Get on: Aston Villa
Match Special: Angel to score with a header 9/2
Liverpool v Blackburn Saturday 14th October 15:00
Get on: Liverpool
Match Special: Bellamy to score two or more goals 4/1
Man City v Sheff Utd Saturday 14th October 15:00
Man City 8/11
Sheff Utd 4/1
Get on: Draw
Match Special: No goalscorer in the match 10/1
Middlesbrough v Everton Saturday 14th October 15:00
Get on: Everton
Match Special: Andy Johnson to score the only goal of the game 28/1
Portsmouth v West Ham Saturday 14th October 15:00
West Ham 10/3
Get on: Portsmouth
Match Special: Pedro Mendes to score from outside the area 12/1
Reading v Chelsea Saturday 14th October 17:15 Live on Premiership Plus
Get on: Chelsea
Match Special: Drogba to score the first goal 9/2
Newcastle v Bolton Sunday 15th October 16:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Match to finish 1-1 11/2
Fulham v Charlton Monday 16th October 20:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Fulham
Match Special: Fulham to score three or more goals 7/2