Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sat 2nd to Mon 4th December 2006.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
My old man has forgotten more about betting than Ill ever know; he has Alzheimers. Its bad news for the old fellow, but its a result for me at Christmas. He always used to say, Never overestimate the importance of recent form. He hasnt said this since his condition deteriorated though; the poor sod thinks hes still fighting in the war. The last coherent statement he made was, We must invade Poland.
Liverpools recent form on the road may be abysmal, but the cream will rise to the top like a Scouse salmon. Even the old man is backing the Reds at 11/10 to see off Wigan; if he remembers the location of the betting shop. Jamie Carragher had said that he wouldnt swap Stevie Gerrard for Ronaldinho, which coincidentally, is a view shared by Barcelona. The in form Gerrard can inspire the Pool to a 2-0 win at 6/1.
Gareth Southgate is a rich mans Steve McClaren, which places him one rung off the bottom of the English managerial ladder. A Manchester United romp at 8/13 will be about as surprising as the Sunday newspaper headline: Rooney KOs reporter, sleeps with an old dear. If Wayne Rooney were so inclined, he could visit the canny granny twice a week (at £65 a pop) for the next 44 years, and it would cost him less than 1% of the £30m deal hes just agreed. Unlike the old lady in question, thats not too shabby. The 4/1 on offer for Rooney to open the scoring is a genuine looker.
West Hams new owner made his fortune in biscuits, so it could be argued that Frank Lampard part-financed the deal. A draw between Everton and West Ham looks a great investment at 9/4. Alan Pardew is worried about a gambling culture at the club. Apparently, the players enjoy the card game roaster; its a variation of poker, played with more hands. Get your hands on the 8/1 about no goalscorer in the match.
As a result of recent defeats to Fulham and Bolton, Arsenal are available at a huge 8/13 to see off Tottenham. Henry missed the Reebok shoeing due to a pain in the neck; Robbie Savage let his tyres down. Spurs will not be so fortunate.
Robbie Savage is like a box of tissues; girly, but useful. Blackburn have only lost one of the last twelve games in which the blonde bombshell has been involved; Fulham will succumb to girl-power at 10/11.
In a climate where footballers and managers see no evil, hear no evil and roast no evil, it was refreshing to hear El Hadji Diouf admit to taking the occasional dive. Hes also an expert in domestic conflict resolution; the lads really growing on me. Dioufs honesty will be rewarded with a win at the Madejski at 15/8.
Les Reed has also embraced the concept of truth. His quote of Andy Reids body shape makes him look worse than he is, is a polite way of saying the fat lad done well. Charlton can leave Bramall Lane with a point at a pleasantly plump 9/4.
I keep hearing how Watford have been unlucky this season; but what about me? The house caught fire last year and the wife wasnt even in. Ill say what I said to her mother when we moved in for a few weeks shortly after; Ive got a huge tip for you. Get on Man City at 8/11.
Andy Cole and Kanu should both be involved when Pompey face the Villa, and surprisingly, theyre not being wheeled out for a pre-match presentation. The Villa are in play at 9/4. Im feeling genuine remorse for criticising David James. Judging by his new haircut, its quite clear that the poor sod is living with his mother, and shes still living in the 1940s. Ill have to introduce her to my old man.
This weeks accer is so inevitable, Doctor Who, Austin Powers, Bill and Ted and Shakin Michael J Fox have all declared themselves powerless in the fight to prevent it from obliging.
Arsenal, Blackburn, Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City are the selections, the payout is a Billie Piper pleasing 15/1.
Arsenal v Tottenham Saturday 2nd December 12:45 Live on Premiership Plus
Get on: Arsenal
Match Special: Henry to score direct from a free kick 6/1
Blackburn v Fulham Saturday 2nd December 15:00
Get on: Blackburn
Match Special: Blackburn to score three or more goals 7/2
Portsmouth v Aston Villa Saturday 2nd December 15:00
Aston Villa 9/4
Get on: Aston Villa
Match Special: Gareth Barry to score with his left foot 5/1
Reading v Bolton Saturday 2nd December 15:00
Get on: Bolton
Match Special: Anelka to score the only goal of the game 40/1
Sheff Utd v Charlton Saturday 2nd December 15:00
Sheff Utd 13/10
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Match to finish 1-1 11/2
Wigan v Liverpool Saturday 2nd December 15:00
Get on: Liverpool
Match Special: Kuyt to score two or more goals 6/1
Middlesbrough v Man Utd Saturday 2nd December 17:15 Live on Premiership Plus
Man Utd 8/13
Get on: Man Utd
Match Special: Rooney to score from outside the penalty area 9/2
Everton v West Ham Sunday 3rd December 16:00 Live on Sky
West Ham 10/3
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Under 2.5 goals in the game 8/13
Man City v Watford Monday 4th December 20:00 Live on Sky
Man City 8/11
Get on: Man City
Match Special: Barton to score at any time 4/1