Below is Gerry's Premier League football betting preview for the weekend Sat 27th to Sun 28th October 2007.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
My heart goes out to supporters of Liverpool FC. The club have been rocked by Champions League failure, the validity of their Merseyside derby victory has been questioned, and they have to travel to Liverpool at least once a fortnight. Steven Gerrard probably received the brunt of the criticism after the controversial derby day win. I have an enormous amount of sympathy for the talismanic captain; it cant be easy to play football, roll over and referee all at the same time. The persecution of Dirk Kuyt is equally as perplexing. The flying Dutchman was pilloried for an alleged dangerous tackle, but who wouldnt jump in the air if they caught an unexpected glimpse of Phil Neville?
Jamie Redknapp has also been slaughtered for a perceived bias in his punditry. The ex-Red claimed that Jamie Carraghers body-slam of Joleon Lescott did not merit a penalty, and amusingly maintained his stance while watching replays of the assault. Even Comical Ali would have thrown his hands up on that one. I hope Jamie will be in the studio for Sundays big Liverpool v Arsenal match, as Im trying to land a touch on potential Redknapp quotes. Stevie didnt dive, he fell over, This rotation policy is a masterstroke, Sure, Jamie kicked him three times, but they were accidental and Rafas beard does not make him look camper than a bowl of strawberries are all confident selections.
Ill probably have to settle for a bet on Arsenal to win the match. The Gunners are flying high in the Premiership and they scored a magnificent seven in midweek. Im going to dive on the 21/10 like ive just received the merest of nudges outside of a penalty area.
Fulham have to be opposed at the Stadium of Light. Apparently, millions of Chinese people have been killed, and people are pointing the finger at Chairman Mo. Sunderland look a great bet at 11/10 to take advantage of a club in crisis.
Dave Whelan remains a genuine character. Hes quick to condemn foreign managers, third-party player ownership and the loan system, yet his views on price fixing in the retail industry are kept remarkably close to his chest. The 23/20 for a Birmingham win over Wigan is vastly over inflated.
Ive got a lot of time for Sven Goran Eriksson, probably because hes pulled more darlings than the Chancellor of the Exchequers wife. The 3/1 for Manchester City leaving Chelsea with a draw ticks a multitude of boxes.
Joey Bartons return to first team action will take his mind off the impending court case. Theres a real chance that Joey may end up doing a little stretch, and his cellmate will definitely be doing a little bird. You should be locked up if you miss out on the 13/8 for a Newcastle win at Reading.
The wife is a massive fan of MC Hammer: she sings you cant touch this every night. Everybodys a winner. You dont have to be drunk to partake in the 4/1 for a West Ham win over Pompey.
Bolton have reportedly made Gary Megson and Graeme Souness their top two targets in their search for a new manager. Im guessing that Phil Gartside is in possession of a barrel with extensive scrape damage. The Villa are unbeaten in four at the Reebok, theyre practically unmissable at 19/10 against a Bolton side tottering on the verge of self destruction.
Tottenham are also in a spot of bother. Jermain Defoe cant make the bench and Berbatov refuses to leave it. Darren Bent is about as potent as a half a shandy and they have more holes in their defence than OJ. Recent history suggests that Blackburn will hold Tottenham to a draw at 23/10; I absolutely refuse to argue.
Middlesbrough have been rocked by injury news ahead of their trip to Old Trafford: Mido is definitely fit. Bookies have opened the spread on Ronaldos dive to earn the penalty at 6568 minutes, and thats probably a sell. United are the weekend banker at 1/5.
Keith Hackett had to apologise to Rafa Benitez earlier in the season after a poor refereeing performance: I wouldnt like to think about what he now owes David Moyes. Well certainly not while other people are in the office. Everton are only facing 11 men against Derby this week, theyll hack up at 13/10. The only real positive to emerge from the Merseyside derby was the revelation that Phil Neville was quite good with his hands. Im guessing thats born of necessity.
Accer of the week:
Newcastle, Everton and Arsenal are the standout weekend picks, they form a 17/1 treble that even Phil can get on.
Birmingham v Wigan Saturday 27th October 15:00
Get on: Birmingham
Match Special: Birmingham to win and keep a clean sheet 23/10
Chelsea v Man City Saturday 27th October 15:00
Man City 6/1
Get on: Draw
Match Special: No goalscorer in the match 11/1
Man Utd v Middlesbrough Saturday 27th October 15:00
Man Utd 1/5
Get on: Man Utd
Match Special: Rooney and Tevez both to score 5/1
Reading v Newcastle Saturday 27th October 15:00
Get on: Newcastle
Match Special: Martins to score two or more goals 9/1
Sunderland v Fulham Saturday 27th October 15:00
Get on: Sunderland
Match Special: Kenwyne Jones to score with a header 5/1
Portsmouth v West Ham Saturday 27th October 17:15 Live on Setanta
West Ham 4/1
Get on: West Ham
Match Special: Bellamy to score the only goal of the game 66/1
Bolton v Aston Villa Sunday 28th October 13:30 Live on Sky
Aston Villa 19/10
Get on: Aston Villa
Match Special: Agbonlahor to score the first goal 8/1
Derby v Everton Sunday 28th October 14:00
Get on: Everton
Match Special: Arteta to score at any time 5/1
Tottenham v Blackburn Sunday 28th October 15:00
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Match to finish 2-2 14/1
Liverpool v Arsenal Sunday 28th October 16:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Arsenal
Match Special: Arsenal to score three or more goals 6/1