Below is Gerry's Premiership football betting preview for the weekend Sat 16th to Mon 18th December 2006.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
I feel a genuine affinity with Alan Pardew; as I too have been unjustly dismissed from the workplace. My only crime was being young and in love. Admittedly, it was wrong of us to consummate our relationship during working hours; but I remain convinced that the zookeeper overreacted. Eggert Magnusson may well rue the decision to harpoon the former Hammer-head. Alan Curbishley is undoubtedly a competent replacement, but like Frank Lampard, hell take a while to find his feet. The Egg man has handed Man U three points at a cracking 1/2. Rio Ferdinand is unable to look back on his time at Upton Park with any real fondness; he has the memory span of a dead goldfish. Rio and Vidic look rock solid at the back, a United clean sheet appeals at 11/10.
Chelsea will have to beat Everton to keep pace with the leaders, and Im absolutely convinced that they will. Im all over the 4/7 like John Terry on a referee. Lets hope that Drogba keeps the theatrics to a minimum. (Diving is only ever acceptable after several lagers.) Didi looks the most likely first scorer at 9/2. Roman Abramovic has placed £500m in a trust fund to secure Chelseas future. Ashley Cole was expecting £505m; hes so upset about the situation hes in talks with his publisher. Im grabbing 5/2 about Chelsea winning 1-0 or 2-0.
Sol Campbell represented Arsenal on 197 occasions and he can justifiably feel proud that he avoided a breakdown in the majority of those matches. Sol returns with a Pompey team who have conceded 25 goals on their last 7 trips to Highbury; youll be mad if you miss the Gunners at 4/9.
The influx of foreign owners in the Premiership may appear a cause for concern, but like the back-pass rule or giving women the vote, theres nothing to fear in practice. Liverpool are quite rightly licking their lips at the thought of a cool Sheikh; Im excited about 4/6 for a Pool win at the Valley.
Newcastle are suffering with injuries. Owen, Ameobi, Parker, Duff, Bramble, Moore, Bernard, Harper, Carr, Emre, Solano and Sibierski are either ruled out or doubtful; and in a stunning development, Kieron Dyer may also miss the game through injury. Watford can snatch a draw at St James Park at 13/5.
Apart from the top four places, the Premiership is completely wide open this season. The result of Reading v Blackburn could be absolutely anything; except for a draw or an away win. The Royals are smoking at 6/5.
Neil Warnock has been remarkably restrained on the touchline
this season; ive a feeling that hes about to explode
like Robbie Savage when the average price of a caravan rose
dramatically in the late 90s. Wigan look a great bet at 10/11
to light the spark.
El Hadji Diouf is suspended for the trip to Aston Villa; allowing him to spend some quality time at home with his wife. All the stats point to a draw like its a ginger boy in a ballet class. Get involved at 11/5.
Man City are unbeaten at home and Tottenham are yet to win away; the 6/4 about a home win looks a trifle too big. I expect City to come out all guns blazing from the start. In Manchester, thats not a metaphor.
My computer is a lot like the wife, if the information is punched in correctly, positive results are guaranteed. My spreadsheet plays a sound if the odds offered by a bookmaker are greater than the actual probability of success; when I placed 5/4 next to Fulham, it whipped out a guitar.
Liverpool, Reading, Wigan, Chelsea and Fulham are the sure-fire selections for the weekend accer. The payout of 21/1 is so sweet; it reminds me of my first love. Ill never forget you Ling-Ling.
Charlton v Liverpool Saturday 16th December 12:45 Live on Premiership Plus
Get on: Liverpool
Match Special: Liverpool to score four or more goals 6/1
Arsenal v Portsmouth Saturday 16th December 15:00
Get on: Arsenal
Match Special: Gilberto to score at any time 4/1
Newcastle v Watford Saturday 16th December 15:00
Get on: Draw
Match Special: No goalscorer in the match 10/1
Reading v Blackburn Saturday 16th December 15:00
Get on: Reading
Match Special: Doyle to score the first goal 5/1
Wigan v Sheff Utd Saturday 16th December 15:00
Sheff Utd 7/2
Get on: Wigan
Match Special: Camara to score two or more goals 11/2
Aston Villa v Bolton Saturday 16th December 17:15 Live on Premiership Plus
Aston Villa 11/8
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Petrov to score in a 1-1 draw 25/1
Everton v Chelsea Sunday 17th December 13:45 Live on Sky
Get on: Chelsea
Match Special: Chelsea to keep a clean sheet 11/10
Man City v Tottenham Sunday 17th December 15:00
Man City 6/4
Get on: Man City
Match Special: Richards to score with a header 9/1
West Ham v Man Utd Sunday 17th December 16:00 Live on Sky
West Ham 13/2
Man Utd 1/2
Get on: Man Utd
Match Special: Saha to score two or more goals 5/1
Fulham v Middlesbrough Monday 18th December 20:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Fulham
Match Special: Fulham to score three or more goals 4/1