Below is Gerry's Premier League football betting preview for the weekend Sat 19th to Mon 21st January 2008.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
My heart goes out to the clinically depressed and the morbidly obese, but I have a genuine illness; I suffer from sleep deprivation. I believe my condition is a result of an incident that occurred many years ago, when I was naïve enough to believe that physical attractiveness was not an essential requirement in the process of potential mate selection.
It was a Saturday night, and I found myself frequenting a nightclub with a group of friends, such was the custom at that time. As 2am arrived and a sense of desperation filled the air, I approached a lady who I thought looked quite hot. It turned out she was just very sweaty. As she made her intentions clear, I made the cardinal error of not topping up my alcohol level before exiting the building. On the taxi ride home, sobriety kicked in like a tortured mule. Within two minutes of entering my humble abode, she was parading shamelessly in her birthday suit. It was at this stage that I fully appreciated the gravity of the situation. Unfortunately, my plea to go directly to the cigarette fell upon deaf ears. Without going into too much detail of what followed, I can confirm that I didnt get a wink of sleep all night, and Ive struggled to get my head down ever since. As the dawn approached like a guardian angel, I plucked up the courage to ask her to leave by the back door, which was somewhat ironic. I made a conscious decision that morning to never return to the club, as the experience left me close to a breakdown. Kevin Keegan has been far less pragmatic. I do expect a significant short-term improvement for the Toon Army; Ill be getting on the Geordies at 5/6 at home to Bolton.
I was quite surprised that Steve Bruce was never approached by Mike Ashley. Bruce has been in charge of Wigan for about seven weeks, so he is definitely due a move. I expect to see a massive move on Everton to beat Wigan at an exceedingly pleasant 11/8.
Fulham FC share a trait of mine: they start off quickly, but lack stamina. The Cottagers have lost a lead in 10 of their 22 Premier League matches this season, blowing 25 points in the process. I can only put Fulhams lack or resolve down to poor conditioning; Ill buy them a case of Wash & Go after Arsenal turn them over at 8/15.
Blackburn are still struggling to find a replacement for Robbie Savage. They came close last week, but Sun Hill refused to release Gillian Taylforth. Im diving on the 4/5 for a Blackburn win over Middlesbrough.
With matches at White Hart Lane producing an average of 5.1 goals, Juande Ramos has been forced to tighten up at the back; so hes dropped Paul Robinson like an opinionated girlfriend. Spurs are on an upward curve as a result, theyre a confident selection at 4/9 against Sunderland.
Manchester City are a Jekyll and Hyde club. When they play at home, theyre an object of unquestionable beauty, yet when they leave Eastlands, theyre as useful as a military recruitment centre in Paris. West Ham are making the now familiar trip to the City of Manchester Stadium, you have to like the even money for another home win.
I was genuinely surprised by the amount of appearances made by a relatively young Jamie Carragher. I havent seen 500 clocked up so quickly since the wife last stood on the scales. A Liverpool win over Villa will be a weight off my mind; Im playing heavily at 4/6.
Ronaldo is on course to be the first wide man since George Best to receive the Golden Boot. There are many similarities between the two players. Best was a Manchester United hero, as is Ronaldo. Best was a phenomenal dribbler, as is the Portuguese step-over expert. Best loved his women. Ill be trying to get on Manchester United at 4/9 to beat Reading.
John Terry has been outed as a Manchester United supporter, further perpetrating the myth that most of Uniteds support originates in London. Thats an insult to the Chinese. Ill take it as a personal insult if Chelsea slip up against Birmingham at 4/6.
After starting the season on fire, Benjani has reverted to type. If missed chances were pints of lager, hed have a liver like George Best. Im taking a chance on the draw between Portsmouth and Derby at 10/3.
Accer of the week:
I cant think of George Best without remembering the time that I had a badly damaged organ. That night still haunts me, and I cant sleep without the aid of sedatives. Luckily, Ive been carrying them around with me for a number of years, as you never know when opportunity will knock.
Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle, Everton and Liverpool form a fantastic 15/1 betting opportunity that only comes along once every seven days.
Birmingham v Chelsea Saturday 19th January 15:00
Get on: Chelsea
Match Special: Anelka to score the only goal of the game 22/1
Blackburn v Middlesbrough Saturday 19th January 15:00
Get on: Blackburn
Match Special: Bentley to score from outside of the penalty area 13/2
Fulham v Arsenal Saturday 19th January 15:00
Get on: Arsenal
Match Special: Eduardo and Adebayor both to score 11/2
Portsmouth v Derby Saturday 19th January 15:00
Get on: Draw
Match Special: No goalscorer in the match 12/1
Reading v Man Utd Saturday 19th January 15:00
Man Utd 4/9
Get on: Man Utd
Match Special: Ronaldo to score direct from a free kick 6/1
Tottenham v Sunderland Saturday 19th January 15:00
Get on: Tottenham
Match Special: Robbie Keane to score two or more goals 5/1
Newcastle v Bolton Saturday 19th January 17:15 Live on Setanta
Get on: Newcastle
Match Special: Owen to score a hat-trick 33/1
Wigan v Everton Sunday 20th January 13:30 Live on Sky
Get on: Everton
Match Special: Arteta to score at any time 5/1
Man City v West Ham Sunday 20th January 16:00 Live on Sky
Man City Evs
West Ham 3/1
Get on: Man City
Match Special: Petrov to score the first goal 9/1
Liverpool v Aston Villa Monday 21st January 20:00 Live on Setanta
Aston Villa 11/2
Get on: Liverpool
Match Special: Liverpool to win and keep a clean sheet 17/10