Below is Gerry's Premier League football betting preview for the weekend Sat 29th September to Mon 1st October 2007.
The views expressed are solely those of the author.
Life is full of little contradictions. When a professional gambler shops around for value, hes lauded for his shrewdness. Yet when I apply a similar level of financial prudence outside of the betting arena, Im considered meaner than a premenstrual Scot with a toothache. Im not ashamed to say that I use the same approach with my shopping budget as I do with my betting bank. Why should I pay 60p for brand name biscuits when I can buy an almost identical packet for 15p? Admittedly, the cheapskate biscuits crumble at the merest touch, but I can let this minor flaw pass, as its mostly the kids who eat them. The little ones are always on my back to improve my fitness levels. Theyre pretty heavy. My frugal nature led me to scoff at wasting £200 on a gym membership; after all, Ive got a bike at home.
My economical acumen did lead to quite an embarrassing mix-up. I was feeling a little peckish after a long stint on the exercise bike, so I decided to snack on a few of the tightwad biscuits. This adequately explains how the wife found me breathing heavily while furiously stroking the crumbs off my lap. Lawrie Sanchez has also been on the end of a comical misunderstanding. The Fulham manager loves to sign Irish players, so when he heard of the crisis engulfing Chelsea, he made a cheeky bid to sign OBramovich. The Chelsea squad are on the verge of mutiny as a result of their hard-to-please owner. Fat Frank, the Drog, Malouda: theyre all revolting. Some of the players were in tears when Jose left, although Ashley Coles emotional state may be a result of Liza Minnellis tour drawing to a close. The 2/5 for a Chelsea win over Fulham has sent me toppling over the edge.
Michael Owen has once again been sidelined through injury. The King of the Castle has been ruled out with a double hernia: it started off as a single but he was feeling lucky. Ill have a little punt on the draw between Manchester City and Newcastle at 23/10.
Robbie Savage has often been compared to Roy Keane. Unfortunately, the term a poor man normally plays a significant role. The 7/4 for a Sunderland win over Blackburn can help alleviate poverty amongst the betting classes.
Unless Fernando Torres shares the wifes rare medical condition where physical activity is only permitted once a week, he has to start against Wigan. Ill happily back Liverpool at 4/6 if Torres starts: if hes on the bench, Ill lay it like it was Meg White.
Reading left it late to land a touch against Wigan last week. With two minutes to go, I was sweating like Prince Charles on Fathers Day. These Royals are pretty useful; they can leave Portsmouth with a point at 5/2.
They say that good things come in small packages, and thats an adage to which I am forced to subscribe. Cesc Fabregas may be diminutive in stature, but hes a true giant on the football pitch. Arsene has set the little man on fire, hell inspire Arsenal to a victory over West Ham at 10/11.
While Cesc is banging the goals in for fun, Andy Johnson would struggle to score at a Ronaldo house-party. Im loving the 5/2 for a draw between Everton and Middlesbrough.
Steve Bruce is genuinely looking forward to the visit of Manchester United. Its not a result of his Old Trafford ties, he just wants to stand next to Carlos Tevez and not be considered the ugly one. The 4/7 for a Manchester United win over the Blues is absolutely stunning.
Im definitely worried about this bluetongue virus. Apparently, its transmitted by midges, so Im steering well clear of Sammy Lee. Bolton are worth a small bet at 7/4 against Derby.
Martin Jol appears to have lost the plot. I wouldnt treat a dog the way Jol has treated Jermain Defoe, especially as she failed to swallow my biscuit story. Aston Villa will leave the Lane with a point at 9/4.
Accer of the week:
Im sure the wife has shared her outrageous theory on biscuitgate with her mother. Ive been a nervous wreck since the incident; I just havent been feeling myself.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and an Everton draw form a 14/1 weekend accer that will hopefully lift my flagging spirits.
Man City v Newcastle Saturday 29th September 12:45 Live on Sky
Man City 5/4
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Petrov to score in a 1-1 draw 25/1
Chelsea v Fulham Saturday 29th September 15:00
Get on: Chelsea
Match Special: Shevchenko to score a hat-trick 25/1
Derby v Bolton Saturday 29th September 15:00
Get on: Bolton
Match Special: Anelka to score the first goal 13/2
Portsmouth v Reading Saturday 29th September 15:00
Get on: Draw
Match Special: Match to finish either 1-1 or 2-2 4/1
Sunderland v Blackburn Saturday 29th September 15:00
Get on: Sunderland
Match Special: Chopra to score the only goal of the game 33/1
West Ham v Arsenal Saturday 29th September 15:00
West Ham 7/2
Get on: Arsenal
Match Special: Arsenal to score three or more goals 4/1
Wigan v Liverpool Saturday 29th September 15:00
Get on: Liverpool
Match Special: Torres to score two or more goals 5/1
Birmingham v Man Utd Saturday 29th September 17:15 Live on Setanta
Man Utd 4/7
Get on: Man Utd
Match Special: Tevez to score from outside the penalty area 7/1
Everton v Middlesbrough Sunday 30th September 16:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Draw
Match Special: No goalscorer in the match 10/1
Tottenham v Aston Villa Monday 1st October 20:00 Live on Setanta
Aston Villa 10/3
Get on: Draw
Match Special: No cards to be shown in the match 12/1