Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sat 4th to Sun 5th November 2006.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
Paul Scholes is generally admired as a footballer, but rarely receives the recognition he deserves as a role model. When Paul was a ginger schoolboy, he didnt wallow in self pity praying for baldness, he played football with the normal children until he reached a level where Manchester United were prepared to sign him. Wayne Rooney has also struggled to overcome adversity; he was born in Liverpool. The Roonatic scored a spectacular hat-trick last weekend, which may explain why hes been walking around with the match ball tucked under his shirt, or so it would appear. United are a shoo-in at 1/3 to see off Pompey at Old Trafford.
Claude Davis allegedly threatened Ade Akinbiyi with a razor this week; how on earth did he persuade Neil Ruddock to leave the pie shop? My mother always said, Never trust a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle; all she missed out was the word tubby. Sheff U have been tonked on their last four trips to Newcastle, back the Toon to dish out a fifth at 5/6.
Sheffield United are the only team in the Premiership to fail to score on the road; even with Titus Bramble in the team, a Newcastle win coupled with a clean sheet should be considered at 15/8. Kieron Dyer is not a lucky man. After making his 49th comeback from injury, Dyer has been ruled out for another two weeks following a freak injury, although the scale of Iain Dowies involvement remains unclear. Rossi looks the call at 9/2 to bang in the opener.
Stewart Downing believes hes been made a scapegoat for Englands poor results. Thats unfair; a goat has a better first touch than the ineffectual Downing. Boro are the weekend nap at 15/8 to see off an outclassed Watford. Jonathan Woodgate has surprisingly named Grease as his favourite film. (Im guessing Frank Lampard is also a huge fan.) For first goalscorer betting, Im hopelessly devoted to Euell at 10/1.
Sure, Kieron Dyer is unlucky, but what about me? As a result of missing Match of the Day, I was forced to endure Goals on Sunday with Beavis and Butthead. The Sky boys have an annoying habit of referring to Liverpools Dirk Kuyt as Kout, which has wreaked havoc with my punning possibilities. I fancy Liverpool to see off Reading at 4/11, but I wont be tipping a first goalscorer. Thanks Beavis. When I heard that Rafa was approaching a ton, I assumed he was tapping up Frank Lampard. After tinkering with his team for 99 consecutive games, the Liverpool manager has finally embraced stability; Ill be embracing the 11/2 about a 2-0 win to the Scousers.
Henri Camara remains steadfast in his belief that Wigan will avoid defeat at the Reebok, and the Camara never lies. Wigan were unbeaten in three games against Bolton last season, they can snatch a point at 12/5.
The Charlton board would be well advised to beg their former manager to return, theres nothing wrong with a little bit of Curb crawling. Charlton v Man City is as close as you can get to a certain draw without moving to Italy. Get on at 9/4. Stuart Pearce wants a managerial sacking window; that would be a pane. Theres been 20 goals in the last 4 matches between the Addicks and City, a small dabble on a 2-2 draw makes economic sense at 14/1.
Its great to see Joe Cole back to full fitness, anything that moves Downing further from the England team can only be considered an encouraging development. Chelsea will beat up Tottenham at a ridiculous 8/11. Jose Mourinho has accused Barcelona of promoting a diving culture; its great that the former Porto boss and current coach of Robben and Drogba is prepared to make such an honourable stand. Chelsea are available at 7/1 to win 2-0; dive in.
Robbie Savage always receives plenty of abuse when he plays at Villa Park, which is odd, as blondes who go down easily are normally warmly received. Villa have beaten Blackburn 1-0 at home for the past two seasons, theres no reason why a hat-trick should be denied at 6/1.
Arsene Wenger believes that Theo Walcott is still two years away from being a top class striker. He resisted the temptation to add, But hes already better than Heskey. Youve got to fancy Arsenal at 8/13 to put an end to the mini Hammer revival.
The Fulham v Everton match is proving a tough nut to crack. Before last weeks fixtures, Id have put my mortgage on the Coleman taking the points, but Evertons draw at the Emirates coupled with Fulhams dismal performance against Wigan has led me to flip like Naomi Campbell. Everton are the shout at 17/10. Ive heard it said that the reason why Tim Cahill is so adept at sneaking past defences is because hes an Australian. Personally, I find that offensive. Id like to say to all of my Aussie friends, Ill have a pint of lager please. The magnificent Cahill is available at 45/1 to score the only goal of the game; get the drinks in.
This weeks accer is so mature; Alan Pardew is considering playing it up front against Arsenal.
Man Utd, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Arsenal and Chelsea are the selections; the payout is a sweet 16/1.
Fulham v Everton Saturday 4th November 12:45 Live on Sky
Get on: Everton
Match Special: Everton to win 1-0 7/1
Bolton v Wigan Saturday 4th November 15:00
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Camara to score at any time 5/2
Charlton v Man City Saturday 4th November 15:00
Man City 21/10
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Barton to be booked 7/4
Liverpool v Reading Saturday 4th November 15:00
Get on: Liverpool
Match Special: Kuyt to score the first goal 9/2
Man Utd v Portsmouth Saturday 4th November 15:00
Man Utd 1/3
Get on: Man Utd
Match Special: Rooney to score a hat-trick 16/1
Watford v Middlesbrough Saturday 4th November 15:00
Get on: Middlesbrough
Match Special: Middlesbrough to win and keep a clean sheet 7/2
Newcastle v Sheff Utd Saturday 4th November 17:15 Live on Premiership Plus
Sheff Utd 4/1
Get on: Newcastle
Match Special: Newcastle to win 3-0 14/1
West Ham v Arsenal Sunday 5th November 13:30 Live on Sky
West Ham 5/1
Get on: Arsenal
Match Special: Van Persie to score direct from a free kick 7/1
Aston Villa v Blackburn Sunday 5th November 14:00
Aston Villa 11/10
Get on: Aston Villa
Match Special: Agbonlahor to score the only goal of the game 33/1
Tottenham v Chelsea Sunday 5th November 16:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Chelsea
Match Special: Frank Lampard to score a deflected goal 5/1