Below is Gerry's FA Cup Final betting preview on Sat 19th May 2007.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
The FA cup final is a great British tradition, like a one shot tennis rally or stitching up the Irish. This year, the top two teams in the country will go head to head in the greatest exhibition since Lady Godiva whipped out her milk dispensers in a brave bid to flee Coventry on the back of one on the Van Nistelrooy clan. Most bookmakers are treating this year's showpiece as a 'Wolverhampton brother and sister match', they just can't separate them.
For my money, Manchester United have a definite edge. The Red Devils have looked hotter than a vindaloo-eating, three sweater-wearing, fever-riddled Anna Kournikova all season long; the 10/11 for United to lift the trophy is practically unmissable. I refuse to shy away from the difficult questions. Why is it that Jose Mourinho can be arrested for harbouring a potentially dangerous dog, yet Lenny Henry roams the streets with impunity? There is no greater lover of dogs than Mourinho, with the possible exception of Park Ji-Sung. I find the 9/5 for a Manchester United win in 90 minutes completely barking. Chelsea will have their supporters at 9/5, but the vibes emanating from the Bridge are far from positive. Uncertainty surrounds the future of Lampard, and John Terry's contract talks break down more often than my old escort. I sometimes wish that Wayne Rooney had never given me her number.
Rooney, Ronaldo and Giggs are all match-winners on their day, but Paul Scholes holds the key to a United victory. Gattuso recently suggested that Scholes likes to take his little matter into his own hands; in fairness to Gattuso, it was an educated guess from the ginger evidence. The 14/1 for a Scholes opener is my best attempt at finding value in the first goalscorer market. Chelsea's injury crisis may well be a blessing in disguise. As Carvalho knows only too well, Wayne Rooney has previous for walking all over a Ballack. Correct score betting is always a tough nut to crack; I'll take a small interest in a 3-1 win for Man U at 25/1.
Gary Neville looks likely to miss the match, so referee Steve Bennett may well be the busiest person on the pitch. Bennett once sent off Tim Cahill for lifting his shirt when celebrating a goal, Ashley Cole is said to be seething with the appointment. This match will be fiery; backing a red card to be shown may pay dividends at 3/1. The new Wembley may well be pleasing to the eye, but their prices are an absolute disgrace. Cheeseburgers are £5 and a hot dog is £4; maybe Ashley was right all along. Bookies are offering odds on the first player to be carded; Ashley Cole is worth a small punt at 14/1.
The Scottish Premier league is not so different from its English counterpart, apart from the blood alcohol level of the supporters. The in form Hearts have peaked at the business end of the season; they look a great punt at even money to see off Kilmarnock.
I've promised the wife a curry if the weekend accer obliges, as long as she sits opposite Chris Tarrant.
Manchester United, Hearts, Rangers and Real Madrid are the selections, the payout is a spicy 22/1.